Cambodia made a flying start yesterday to the 2011 China-ASEAN Invitational Tournament, beating Macau 77-65 in their opening-day game of the 11-team event held in Nanning.
The national team, inspired by the recent addition of foreign imports Pek Mith, Oeun Sopouen and Thach Boroth, weathered the storm in the first two quarters before fighting back to take the lead in the third.
A late rally by Macau in the fourth was not enough to deny the Kingdom their first victory in an international basketball competition.
“We were knocked off in the first half,” said Ouen Sopoeun, who led the scoring with 25 points.
“We picked up momentum in the third quarter, and it was great to see us hold out for the win.”
However, Sweden-based baller Thach Boroth revealed that the team chemistry was “not yet there”.
“We are doing good, no doubt, but we need time to get to understand one another. Once we start to play as a team, we can beat any team,” he said.
Cambodia will now face China Guangxi in their next Group B game today, before taking on Vietnam Hanoi tomorrow and Taipei on Friday.
Group A comprises hosts China Pingguo, Hong Kong, Malaysia, Laos, Singapore and Myammar.
The top two teams from each group will proceed to semifinals on Saturday, with the winners competing in the grand final on Sunday.