In A bizarre end to a highly volatile contest, Mekong Tigers forfeited the opening game of their Angkor Beer Cambodian Basketball League semi-final playoff against Pate 310 at the Olympic Stadium Indoor Arena on Sunday after walking off the court two minutes before regulation time and throwing temper tantrums to protest a ruling from the officials.
When calm was restored after this storm, Davies Paints eked out a 69-65 win over the Emperors to go one up in the other best-of-three semi-finals.
Simmering tension on the court took an ugly turn with two minutes to run on the clock in the fourth quarter. Pate, who had chipped out a slender win in the round robin, led 62-54 but the Tigers were hot on their rivals’ heels.
A Pate player was injured during court action and some of his team-mates entered the court, ostensibly to render assistance once they deemed the ball to be dead.
It was at this delicate stage that the Tigers coach complained to the table officials, claiming that Pate had committed a technical foul. The officials, however, called the ball for the Tigers but ruled out a technical foul.
The Tigers decided to leave the arena, taking out their anger on a few things around the court. As a fall out of this action, the Tigers lost the game by forfeit.
The technical committee of the CBL will meet in due course to decide on further sanctions to be imposed on the Tigers.
The tempo had been slow to begin with and shooting on both sides was a bit wayward. The Tigers came out of the first half marginally better at 32-30.
It was just before the end of the third quarter that Pate managed to nose ahead 49-46, thanks to Kim Ran’s good work from the free throw line.
A succession of turnovers on both sides marked the start of the fourth quarter. Even as Sok Samnang was hauling the Tigers back into the game, came this dramatic moment that eventually led to this unfortunate off-court chaos.
The Emperors were the only team to have beaten Davies Paints this season but if they entertained any hopes of a repeat, Monh Ratana’s team were in for a rude jolt.
Paints blasted out a 23-5 first quarter with a clear warning of more damage to come. The Emperors defence zone, fragile as it turned out to be, presented no threats to Janno Cunanan’s quick drives.
Switching their guarding duties to man-on-man did the Emperors some good in stemming the tide in the second quarter. Besides stalling the Paints attack, the Emperors began to open out themselves with Kim Vengngoun ticking the score-board over and Hour Pichbounchour adding a few through offensive rebounds.
At the change of ends, Paints had a small but significant lead and, to make matters worse for the Emperors, Kim Vengngoun picked up his fourth foul in the third quarter. His replacement Chao Prohors was not up to the same speed when it came to the offence.
By the time Kim Vengngoun reappeared in the last few minutes of the game, Paints had shot into a winning position with the help of John Cornito and Victoriaro De Luna.
Davies Paints 69 (Janno Cunanan 17, John Cornito 16 points, Aimar Sabayo 13) Emperors 65 (Kim Vengngoun 23 points, Hour Pichbounchour, Monh Ratana 8)