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Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Big guns set to boom as Patriots clash with IRB

Big guns set to boom as Patriots clash with IRB

Big guns are set to boom at the Beeline Arena tomorrow as two top-ranked teams zealously guard their unbeaten records in the Cambodian Basketball League sponsored by Western Union and Coca-Cola.

A well-knit card of four matches has been framed for the day, with the clash between Alaxan FR Patriots and IRB The Lord garnering riveting attention, even as one of them face the ignominy of a defeat for the first time this season after five wins each.

Post Buffaloes’ Adam Noah (in black) drives to the basket during their CBL match at Beeline Arena last Saturday
Post Buffaloes’ Adam Noah (in black) drives to the basket during their CBL match at Beeline Arena last Saturday. SRENG MENG SRUN

What brings an element of intrigue into this high-profile game is their contrasting style of play.

The Patriots rely on aggressive drive-ins, quick rotations and fast breaks. The Lord are masters of defence and are known for their excellence in perimeter shooting.

The Patriots enjoy a distinct height advantage so rebounds may turn out to be of crucial significance. But none of the teams combine as effectively as The Lord, and this coordination may help them counter their rivals’ aggressive intent.

The added attraction is a contest between CCPL Heat and Cellcard Eagles, both of whom have suffered form drifts in one shape or another this season.

When it comes to the average height of the dozen teams in the field, the Eagles tower over the rest, but this advantage has not translated itself into good results for the side – just two wins out of five.

Quite often the Eagles seemingly lose their nerve when-ever their opponents push back and gain the upper hand, and the big question is whether this will happen again when they take on the Heat.

After two narrow yet shocking defeats against lower rung teams like Pate 310 and Post Buffaloes, Heat regained a bit of lost ground with their previous outing victory and are hoping to retain that touch against the Eagles.

In a game that will have a solid bearing on play-off seats, the all-Filipino Ganzberg will be up against the all-Cambodian NSK Dream.

With one win in five matches, the youthful Dream will have their task cut out against a decidedly stronger and seasoned opposition in Ganzberg, who are banking their hopes of moving up the ladder on winning this crucial game.

With one victory to show in six games, the Post Buffaloes are fast losing sight of a play-off place unless they can put the Phnom Penh Dragons out of stride to begin with and hope for better results in the coming weeks.

The Buffaloes face IRB The Lord, Sela Meas and Cellcard Eagles in their next three fixtures. Thus a heavy burden rides on this clash with the Dragons, who have gathered some speed after their recent victories.

Dragons coach Michael Dibbern for one considers his team’s revival revolving around three wins from the last four games as an upward swing yet he is cautious that this could be a trap game of sorts.

“The intensity will be very high in this game,” Dibbern told the Post.

“The Buffaloes fight until the very last second. We saw that last week when they played hard despite being 20 points behind.”

Saturday’s Schedule
Ganzberg v NSK Dream – 10am
IRB The Lord v Alaxan FR Patriots – 2pm
CCPL Heat v Cellcard Eagles – 4pm
Phnom Penh Dragons v Post Buffaloes – 6pm

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