It was an impressive show of force by Pate 310 in their opening game of the Angkor Beer Cambodian Basketball League as the side, spearheaded by Ouch Phanat, proved far too strong and wily for Extra Joss Fighters 84-57 at the Olympic Stadium Indoor Arena on Saturday.
In another match, Sabay Tiger Mosquitoes made their height advantage count in a runaway 79-46 win over GL Concrete.
The only piece of cheer on an otherwise dismal day on court for the Fighters was the high marks Gabriel Humphrey earned for his blocking. In all other departments, Pate simply outplayed their opponents.
Almost always one step ahead of their opponents, Pate set a tempo of their choice with Ouch Phanat showing plenty of toe in several profitable steals. This season’s fresh face in the line-up, Adam Tayyaba, joined hands with seasoned Taing Peng Kuy and Sok Tour in Pate’s dominant offence.
By the end of the third quarter, Pate had put the game well beyond the Fighters with a 70-30 lead.
“The first half was a challenge. We let Fighters shoot a lot. But in the second half we found our rhythm,” Pate manager Chea Koktry told the Post after the game.
“The new players in the team blended well with the rest. Our target is this season’s championship.”
In a game of sharp contrasts, the Mosquitoes, the tallest team among the 10 contestants this season, expectedly dominated the shortest GL Concrete, who could make hardly any headway against a tight zone defence.
In offence, the Mosquitoes let the ball roll through the wings to Geoff Harry and Keith Kelly, and when it came to rebounds, Jay Rodden and Curran Hendry were monopolising the boards.
Though GL Concrete got up to within seven points of the Mosquitoes in the third quarter, too many turnovers stunted their recovery.
Pate 84 (Ouch Phanat 22, Adam Tayyaba 16, Taing Peng Kuy 15, Sok Tour 10)
Extra Joss Fighters 47 (Grabriel Humphrey 14, Perr Cortez 10 Vic Pereras 9)
Sabay Tigers Mosquitoes 79 (Geoff Harry 23, Jay Rodden 21)
GL Concrete 46 (Tun Chamnan 16, Ran Noren 11, Om Soket 8)
CBL action on TV
The Cambodian Basketball Federation secretary general Chy Sabath, along with CBL coordinator Michael Dibbern and representatives of the main sponsors Angkor Beer and co-sponsors Pepsi and Smart, addressed a joint media conference before the start of the second game on Saturday to mark the official launch of the CBL season.
During the conference, it was announced that the quarter-finals and semi-finals of the post-season playoffs will be best of three matches instead of one-game knockouts.
An added attraction this season will be the staging of the Smart All Star game in October.
It was also announced that OneTV will air a weekly program named CBL Action, in which highlights of all the week’s games will be shown.