In a game full of thrust and parry, Pate 310 kept their cool in the dying moments of the fourth quarter to take down IRB The Lord 52-48 at the Beeline Arena on Saturday in the Cambodian Basketball League sponsored by Western Union and Coca-Cola.
Fierce rivalries and intense drama have been routinely part of most all-Cambodian encounters this season and both Pate and The Lord ensured this one was no exception.
Players in both camps know each other well, having shared practice courts at the Olympic Stadium over the years. So it was no surprise that they were familiar with their opposing numbers’ strengths and flaws.
The fast pace set by Pate in the first half clearly unsettled The Lord, who were swamped by Sok Tour’s drive-ins and Taing Peng Quy’s three-pointers. At the half-time break Pate led by 15 points, forcing The Lord to come up with a quick on-court solution.
Responding positively to the crisis, The Lord brought in point guard Eng Evhai, who had arrived late to the venue, and he began to repair the first-half damage. Minutes into the fourth quarter The Lord had snuck up to within seven points. With their tight zone defence working effectively, they found themselves just two regular baskets behind in the closing stages of the game.
But the man who had turned things around for The Lord failed to land a couple of vital attempts and Pate held on to their slender lead as the buzzer sounded. Sok Tour top-scored for the winners with 24 points while Monh Ratana and Kim Veng Ngoun posted 12 points each for The Lord.
As widely expected, the all-Chinese Galaxy, who showed up with just six players, proved no match for the CCPL Heat.
Led by Panha Sovann, who produced a string of stunning no-look passes for his team-mates besides scoring 21 points of his own, the CCPL Heat pinned down the Galaxy 90-47, ending the side’s two-game slide.
With virtually no bench to look to, the Galaxy had no chance to get any closer as the Heat were consistent in hitting their soft targets. Xiang Hai stood out for the Galaxy with 12 points.