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Playoffs tip off in CBL

The top eight CBL teams progress to playoff quarterfinal battles starting on Saturday at the Olympic Stadium Indoor Arena
The top eight CBL teams progress to playoff quarterfinal battles starting on Saturday at the Olympic Stadium Indoor Arena. Sreng Meng Srun

Playoffs tip off in CBL

The round robin phase of the ongoing Angkor Beer Cambodian Basketball League concluded at the Olympic Stadium Indoor Arena on Wednesday evening, with Sabay Tiger Mosquitoes beating a somewhat light-footed Emperors 55-30.

The outcome had no real bearing on the playoff positions and Emperors, knowing full well they would meet the Mosquitoes in their quarter-final clash, chose to rest some of their key players.

The Mosquitoes led all the way, even as the Emperors focused on keeping their players free of any injuries on court ahead of the crucial playoffs.

On Tuesday evening, the Mekong Tigers broke free from their four-game losing streak to post a morale-boosting 77-69 win over CCPL Warriors.

Davies Paints topped the standings at the end of the round robin followed by Emperors and Pate 310. The fourth to eighth rankings were Mekong Tigers, Extra Joss Fighters, Smart Dragons, Sabay Tiger Mosquitoes and CCPL Warriors respectively.

NSK Dream finishing ninth and GL Concrete last of the 10 teams were eliminated from the competition this season.

The quarterfinal playoffs beginning this weekend (two matches each on Saturday and Sunday) will be decided on a best-of-three games basis.

In Saturday’s action, Davies Paints will cross paths with CCPL Warriors followed by Emperors taking on Sabay Tiger Mosquitoes.

Both the Paints’ and the Warriors’ rosters are loaded with Filipino players, but that’s where the commonality ends. Paints recorded one of the biggest blowouts in the CBL history by beating the Warriors 119-49, a grim reminder for the Warriors of the firepower they face yet again.

Nothing much can be read into Emperors’ loss to the Mosquitoes on Wednesday. It was obvious that the Emperors were accepting things lightly on the court and the playoff story will be quite different, given the side’s known potential.

On Sunday, Pate 310 will pit their strength against Smart Dragons in the first match. Dragons were beaten by Extra Joss Fighters in their last league game.

Just two points separated Dragons in their loss to Pate when the two last met, which makes this game too close to call.

Mekong Tigers have regained some self-assurance which seemed to have drained out during a recent disappointing phase.

The Tigers roared their way to 84-66 win over Fighters in their previous meeting, but that was before Stephen Siruma joined the Fighters and began to swing the team’s fortunes. Since Siruma’s arrival, the Fighters have only lost to big guns like Paints and Emperors.

Playoffs Quarterfinals
Saturday October 25
Davies Paints v CCPL Warriors – 2pm
Emperors v Sabay Tiger Mosquitoes – 4pm

Sunday October 26
Pate 310 v Smart Dragons 2pm
Mekong Tigers v Extra Joss Fighters – 4pm

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