NS Matrix 73 WA SBL Select Team 72
In a game with no ramification to the tournament standings, NS Matrix’s local players would step up to defeat the tournament champions WA SBL Select Team 73-72 in an exciting game that went down to the last second.
Matrix, reeling from their defeat to Adroit Singapore the night before, would be determined to finish the tournament strong. The first half would see an array of athletic dunks by Anthony Walker, with the former Texas Legends pacing the team with 12 points. Walker would also be key in providing interior defense against the taller Australians. The game would be tied 39 all at the half.
In an unorthodox move, Matrix would opt to field an all local line up for the second half. Matrix would keep the score close throughout the half despite a Matt Adekponya three increasing the lead to eight early in the fourth quarter.
A layup by Teo Kok Hou would make it a one point game with 3 minutes remaining before SBL responded with back to back three pointers from Damien Scott and Mason Bragg, giving them the much needed breathing space.
Matrix would still be able to get to as close as three with 45 seconds remaining off baskets by Ting Chun Hong and Mak Lok Seng. A free throw by Jackson Hussey would make it a four point game with 30 seconds remaining leading to a Matrix time out
Off the time out, Teo Kok Hou would lob an alley oop lay up made by Ting Chun Hong who would get the foul as well, making it a one point game with 29 seconds remaining. Matrix would make the ensuing defensive stop and earned a foul sending Ting Chun Hong to the line with 1.2 seconds remaining. Ting would make both free throws giving Matrix the one point lead.
Mason Bragg’s last second three pointer attempt would bounce in and out, giving Matrix the 73-72 victory.
Red Baron 76 KL Dragons 72
Red Baron were made to work to secure second placing at the Malaysia Hoops Challenge, defeating the KL Dragons 76-72 in yet another close game.
Red Baron, still smarting from the previous night defeat to the SBL Select Team, would be eager to close the tournament strong, building an early 14 point lead thanks to the hot shooting of Keng Eng Heng, who had 17 points in the first half on 70% shooting.
The Dragons would be able to cut the lead to as close as four thanks to back to back three pointers from Tan Wei Long and Chris Eversley before Red Baron veteran locals, Wong Wee Seng and Chee Li Wei made baskets to make it an eight point lead at the half.
Red Baron would be able to maintain lead until early in the fourth as Daniel Eves was hit with his fourth foul. Dragons would use the opportunity to attack the point facing the hesitant interior defense of Red Baron. The Dragons would be able to get as close to one after a Chris Eversley layup.
The Dragons would get opportunities to tie the game but poor free throw shooting would cost them as Red Baron would edge away, with Red Baron’s Sammy Monroe making his own free throw attempts at the end to seal the 76-72 win.
Adroit Singapore 80 CLS Knights Indonesia 75
Adroit Singapore clinched third placing at the Malaysia Hoops Challenge by defeating CLS Knights Indonesia 80-75 .
The Knights would be missing big man, Firman Nugroho due to injury and Adroit would be missing veteran guard, Wong Wei Long who had to return to Singapore for other commitments. The Knights would take advantage of this, taking and early 17-15 lead after the first quarter.
Adroit would adjust in the absence of Wei Long from the second quarter onwards, once again led by the impressive offense of Wong Zhong Wan. Adroit would grab the lead and stretched it to as high as 14 midway through the third quarter.
The fourth quarter would see Adroit begin to show signs of fatigue, as the toll of a short rotation for five games in five days began to show. The Knights would slowly cut the lead led by Rachmad Utomo and Bima Riski Adriansyah key baskets. With less than 15 seconds remaining, Adroit would only lead by three with possession.
Adroit would be successful in moving the ball around to prevent the intentional foul, sealing the game with a dunk by Drelan Tripplett. Leon Kwek and Wong Zhong Han would lead Adroit’s charge , combining for 45 points.
The Knights would end the tournament winless but showed many positives with their all locals line up, keeping several games close.
The final standings of the 2018 Malaysia Hoops Challenge would be:-
- WA SBL Select Team 4-1 (Champions)
- Red Baron 4-1
- Adroit Singapore 3-2
- NS Matrix 3-2
- KL Dragons 1-4
- CLS Knights Indonesia – 0-5