In a nail-biting finish, Pate 310 touched off Davies Paints 56-54 in the championship game of the second season of the Angkor Beer Cambodian Basketball League at the Olympic Stadium Indoor Arena on Saturday.
A blazing 22-10 first quarter gave Pate a huge early momentum that was never quite broken the rest of the way. A brief flurry in the dash home saw the Paints catch up with Pate at 50-all, but Chen Dyna and Kim Ran produced two crucial baskets that would set their team on the victory path.
Janno Cunanan trimmed that lead in those frenzied moments to two points, but his attempt for another drive-in basket failed and the sound of the buzzer floated in as music to the Pate ears.
Sok Tour led the Pate charge, with Ouch Phanat and Kim Ran lending him solid support. The Paints lead player Aimar Sabayo could only find a few bursts since he was effectively roped in just like his able ally Cunanan by Pate’s well fortified defence.
At the half way stage, Pate led 34-28, and the third quarter, which saw the Paints slightly outscore their rivals, ended at 46-40.
In the last quarter, the Paints coach Chris Borja switched his team to full court press which created a few nice openings for his players, helping in the bargain the side level up with Pate.
But that was as far as the inaugural edition champions could get. Two quick baskets changed the complexion of the title game completely.
Pate’s manager Chea Koktry was understandably elated that his pre-season pledge of winning the championship had been delivered.
Earlier in the morning, Mekong Tigers won the third place play off beating Emperors 68-47.
Ouch Phanat of Pate and Janno Cunanan of the Paints won the Most Valuable Player award sponsored by Bangkok Airways in the Cambodian and foreigner categories respectively. The award includes return tickets to Bangkok for each player.
Pate 56 (Sok Tour 17, Ouch Phanat 16,Kim Ran 8) Davies Paints 54 (Victoriaro De luna 13, Aimar Sabayo 12, Janno Cunanan 9)
Mekong Tigers 68 (Sok Samnang 21, Pheng Darath 13, Phen Dararithy 11) Emperors 57 (Eng Eavhai 14, Monh Ratana 12, Hour Pichbounchour 11)