In A game of fast-changing patterns, Emperors edged out CCPL Warriors 61-57 at the Olympic Stadium Indoor Hall on Saturday as the Angkor Beer Cambodian Basketball League, co-sponsored by Pepsi and Smart, belatedly went through an official opening ceremony, nearly five weeks after the start of the second season.
All the 10 teams in the roster lined up in their uniforms before the start of the Warriors-Emperors game for the opening attended by Cambodian Basketball Federation vice president Ouk Sethycheat, National Olympic Committee of Cambodia general secretary Vath Chamroeun, Angkor Beer marketing executive Soa Sopheak, Pepsi marketing executive Hak Nonita and CBL coordinator Michael Dibbern.
By virtue of this hard-earned victory, Emperors joined Mekong Tigers as the only unbeaten teams so far this season.
Emperors made a significant headway in the first quarter through Monh Ratana’s long rangers and Hour Pichbounchour’s good work under the rim.
While former national player Kim Vengngoun, who missed the Emperors first game, clicked nicely from the high post in the second quarter to keep the pressure on their rivals, the Warriors were struggling with a low scoring rate.
A slightly better show in offence saw Warriors close the gap in the third quarter, thanks in the main to Cris Bolado and Sovann Panha working well in tandem.
In the final stanza, Vince del Mundo joined the scoring stream to make it a three-point game for the Warriors with just two minutes to go. The intensity grew as Vengngoun for Emperors and Panha for Warriors matched basket for basket.
Yet with less than a minute left, Vengngoun scored on the offence to make sure that the Warriors stayed down.
In the day’s second match, Extra Joss Fighters routed NSK Dream 71-47. After an even-12 first quarter, the Fighters raised the tempo considerably to their advantage and kept stretching their lead.
Emperors 61 (Kim Vengngoun 24, Monh Ratana 19, Hour Pichbounchor 10) CCPL Warriors 57 (Sovann Panha 16, Vince Del Mundo 13, Jeff Cruz 9)
Extra Joss Fighters 71 (Arjahy De La Rosa 23, Edmer Pansoy 21, Siruma 16)
NSK Dream 47 (Chanchan Borey 15,Phorn Rithysak 10, Sok Reazy 8)