The Bayon Cup inter-club basketball tournament is taking a short break, with the second phase of the competition, which involves 12 teams as only six from each of the two divisions have qualified, beginning on April 3 as one conference battling for eventual cup glory.
With three high-intensity contests featured in the card for the last round of matches, Bayon Air’s 96-85 win over Extra Joss Fighters provided the day’s greatest excitement at the Olympic Stadium Indoor Arena on Sunday.
The unbeaten Fighters took the court hoping to keep that record intact and were looking set to do just that before Bayon Air stepped up their sharp shooting in the final two minutes to turn the tables on last season’s CBL runners-up.
At 81 apiece, the game couldn’t have been tighter, and as the Fighters’ claims on official calls were growing louder they were also helping their rivals to more chances from the free-throw line. In those decisive moments, Ouch Phanat and Ji held their nerve and clicked with all their free throws, giving Bayon Air a marked advantage in the closing stages.
Though Smart Dragons went out on the court as overwhelming favourites to beat the unhearlded Loda Wang in the opening game of the day, they had their work cut out.
To the surprise of those in attendance, Wang led their more illustrious rivals 37-35 at half time, but by the end of the third the Dragons had turned their fortunes around to lead by 10 points, and they rolled out more baskets in the dash home to win 82-61.
The result meant that Smart Dragons, Extra Joss Fighters and Bayon Air finished with the same record of six wins and one loss each. Head-to-head classification applied and it could not get any closer as Dragons finished first in Division A with +3 points compared to Bayon Air’s -1 and Fighters -2.
In Division B, it was a clear-cut result for ALLN, who remained unbeaten in their seven games. In Sunday’s big game of the round, ALLN tackled another unbeaten side in An Hui High School and emerged as 70-50 winners to remain as the only team to end the first phase without defeat.