For the first time in weeks, Sabay Tiger Mosquitoes showed up with a near complete line up and turned that collective strength into a 65-60 win over tottering Mekong Tigers in the Angkor Beer Cambodian Basketball League at the Olympic Stadium Indoor Arena on Saturday.
The painful Mosquitoes bite felled the Tigers to their fourth defeat after they had breezed through the first four games of the season. While the victory has put the Mosquitoes back on the run for a play-off seat, anguish over their future could well be creeping into the Tigers den.
The Tigers led by a slender two points at the end of the first quarter and stretched it to eight at 30-22 by half time. Mosquitoes began the second half on a promising note when Jeff Kane came up with a three pointer and a little later a repeat to make it 30-32.
It was not long before the Mosquitoes got to the front for the first time at 41-40 and by the end of the session were happily placed at 50-43, even as the Tigers saw Seath Socheat suffer a deep cut in the web of his fingers.
Though Sok Samnang pulled the Tigers back to within a basket of the Mosquitoes early in the fourth quarter, it was obvious that he was fighting a losing battle.
In the day’s second fixture, Davies Paints were far too good for NSK Dream, who were done in by the trio of Aimar Sabayo, John Cornito and Janno Cunanan.
The Paints won 68-57 but were only seriously tested briefly in the third quarter when NSK Dream appeared to be fast closing in. But then Sabayo made the difference as he had always done in tight situations like these. He was virtually unstoppable in the final quarter.
The youthful NSK Dream had been on the wrong side of the ledger in the only game played last Thursday evening against Smart Dragons, who comfortably won 62-51.
Meanwhile on Saturday, it was yet another day of unrewarding toil for GL Concrete who were roundly beaten 79-43 by Pate 310.
Pate did a neat job of it despite showing up with a limited line up that did not include star player Ouch Phanat, who is based in Siem Reap.