Playing at a fast tempo that Extra Joss Warriors found too hot to handle, Alaxan FR Patriots romped home to another big victory 92-58 at the Beeline Arena on Saturday to keep their unbeaten record intact in the Cambodian Basketball League sponsored by the Western Union and Coca-Cola.
But for a brief rally in the second quarter through Ley Denetrosa, the Warriors were wobbling around unable to contain Aimar Sabayo and Dexter Arcenas, who kept firing from all sides.
The Warriors were not too far back at half time with just six points to make up but the Patriots blazed away in the second half, landing in the bargain a 35-point fourth quarter blow for a resounding win.
Sabayo posted 29 points to take top honours for the Patriots while Denetrosa’s 23 points stood out for the Warriors.
“I am happy with the win. We are on top and everyone wants to beat us. Its a challenge for the other teams. This is putting some extra pressure on us,” Patriots manager Chris Borja told the Post after the game.
In a low scoring affair, IRB The Lord, who are second in the ranking behind the Patriots, managed to stave off CCPL Heat 37-32 despite leading by 15 points at half time.
In fact, the Heat drew a complete blank in the first quarter and a collective lack of self belief was glaringly evident, allowing The Lord the luxury of a healthy lead.
Sloppy defending in the second session by The Lord, however, opened up an avenue for Panha Sovann to stage a recovery of sorts for the Heat, who got up to within two points of their rivals at the end of the third quarter.
The fourth quarter saw an unusually high number of turnovers and the Heat came worse off with Kim Ran missing a few vital standing shots under the rim.
Monh Ratana (nine points) and Hour Pich Bunchour (eight points) were the main scorers for The Lord and Panha Sovann matched that combined effort with 17 of his own.
The Dragons toyed with NSK Dream in their 77-28 drubbing. Despite missing two key players – Eric Laughlin, who left the country, and Matsuki Nishikawa, who was unavailable for this game – the Dragons had no problems packing speed and sharpness to their transitions.
Without point guard Ravuth Meas and Reazzy in their line- up, NSK were struggling to get going and by half time their cause was seemingly lost.
Stephen Billington (12) and Khan Karakhanov were grabbing every rebound in the paint and with Jay Boolkin (15) delivering one assist after another for Ben Laird (22) Leng Seng (17), the Dragons were on a roll.
“I was a bit concerned how we would play after Eric Laughlin left the team. But the boys reacted in the best ever manner,” Dragons manager Michael Dibbern told the Post.
Cellcard Eagles edged out Post Buffaloes 50-43, keeping their play-off hopes alive following NSK Dream’s loss earlier in the day. The tide turned the Eagles way in the second quarter, which they dominated 22-9. Geoff Harry came good for the Eagles with 23 points. Jay Roden was the Buffaloes mainstay with 21 points.