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Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Heat is on the Dragons in CBL season opener

Heat is on the Dragons in CBL season opener

Last year’s Challenge runners-up Phnom Penh Dragons mount their bid for the inaugural Cambodian Basketball League Presented by Western Union on Saturday at the Beeline Arena, facing their familiar foes CCPL Heat in the season opener for both sides.

The two teams are well known for a brand of aggression that is built on fast pace and quick transitions and whoever can manage a greater chunk of the possession will obviously gain the day.

Heat can take some comfort in the fact that they squeaked out an over-time win over the Dragons in a tune-up game a couple of weeks ago.

“We will have to switch between different defence systems to find the best way to get early ball possession and prevent the Heat from scoring three pointers,” Dragons coach Michael Dibbern, who is also a CBL coordinator, told the Post yesterday.

The newly formed Post Buffaloes are eagerly awaiting their league start, and they have drawn the all-Chinese Galaxy team in their first round tie. The Galaxy, being a totally unknown quantity, may be hard to gauge when it comes to their strengths and weaknesses. They were the last to register and thus were left with very little time for scrimmage games.

When Extra Joss Warriors and Pate 310 enter the court, the difference in heights will be startling. The Warriors will line up Chris Baloda (2.01 metres), Ken Gabriel (1.98m) and Joshua Schmitz (1.95m). Pate comes nowhere near that kind of loftiness.

If at all, Pate will have to rely on speed and hope to click in their field shooting as the rebounds may well be dominated by the Warriors.

Experience may count a lot in favour of the Warriors with Chris Baloda, who has had professional stints in the Philippines, leading the charge.

Saturday’s Fixtures

  •  Post Buffaloes v Galaxy – 2pm
  •  Extra Joss Warriors v Pate 310 – 4pm
  •  Phnom Penh Dragons v CCPL Heat – 6pm


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