The Saigon Heat got back on the winning track after a commanding 101-82 victory over the visiting Mono Vampire in their second meeting of the season.

In the Saigon Heat’s first home game of the New Year, it was the visitors who were able to control the matchup early on, taking advantage of a slow Heat start to jump out to a 17-7 lead. The Heat were eventually able to find their stride in the opening quarter, ending the period tied up with Mono Vampire at 23 points apiece.

Both teams found themselves in a back-and-forth battle to begin the second quarter before the home side broke the game open by going on a 16-5 run. From there, Saigon never looked back.

The final two periods of the game saw the Heat go on a shooting tear, as the team stretched their lead to as many as 24 points after a Kyle Barone free throw with 8:46 left to play in the final quarter. Mono Vampire were never really able to claw themselves back in the second half, ending the game on 39 percent shooting from the field with five made three-pointers, while their opposition converted on 44 percent of their field goal attempts and amassed 14 long balls.

In his second game back from injury, point guard Trevon Hughes nearly notched a triple-double in the Heat’s victory, finishing just two assists shy at 23 points, 12 rebounds, and eight assists. In total, Saigon had five players score in double figures, including starting local player Chris Dierker, who tallied the first double-double of his ABL career with 18 points and 11 rebounds.

Malcolm White, Mono Vampire’s newest import addition, led the way for his team with a game-high of 31 points to go along with 13 rebounds and two blocks in 35 minutes while starting point guard Jason Brickman added another impressive stat line, finishing with 20 points, five assists, and five rebounds.

Mike Singletary also contributed a double-double of 11 points and 11 rebounds for the visitors, but was ejected in the fourth quarter after committing a dangerous, hard foul on a Sang Dinh breakaway dunk attempt.

Sunday evening’s win improved the Saigon Heat’s record to 7-4 on the season and has them currently sitting in fifth place. Conversely, the loss dropped the Mono Vampire to 1-7, where the team occupies the second to last spot in the league’s standings. The Vampire’s next game will be on January 9 at home against the CLS Knights while the Heat will host a streaking Hong Kong Eastern squad on January 13.

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