Going into week three of the inaugural Cambodia Basketball Challenge, the most talked about player has been Aimar Sabayo of the Philippines wearing the Raid-Alaxan FR colours as a fearless forward.
He is seen as a lighting rod at the Beeline Arena, where the Challenge is steadily building as a unique experience for the players and the public alike.
Successive over 20-point posts in Raid-Alaxan victories has made this 190.5-centimetre, 82-kilogram, 25-year-old a giant cagers love to play with and not against.
Tomorrow, it is Team Sharky’s turn to deal with Sabayo when Raid-Alaxan, one of only two unbeaten teams – Sabay Salty Crabs being the other – take the court aiming for another winning start.
“Sabayo is a very versatile player with the combination of his size and quickness,” said CBC Commissioner Kenneth Kim, who is also on the Sabay Crabs roster told the Post yesterday.
“He can handle the ball. He can take you off the dribble. He can post you up and he shoots over you. He is a nightmare to defend.
“Sabayo is definitely the guy you want to build your team around. An X-factor, he gives Raid-Alaxan exactly what they need. I have played against him and I have played with him. He has skills. I can easily see him putting 20-plus points the rest of the way.’’
The team itself is heavily reliant on the Filipino, who has made the trip to Phnom Penh specifically for the CBC. He plays predominantly in the forward positions around the basket where his size and mobility could make a marked impact and create mismatches with the way he shoots.
“He’s one of our top players at the number 3 and 4 spots. He’s got decent high-low post game, good hands for perimeter and three-point shots and he is a good ball handler as well,’’ Raid-Alaxan captain Chris Borja told the Post.
More durable than dazzling, the Sabay Salty Crabs line up against CCPL Heat tomorrow, hoping for a winning bounce from their two victories.
While Phnom Penh Dragons are desperate to break their duck when they take on Mobitel XG Warriors, the all-Cambodian Sela Meas hope to get their act together after last week’s loss when they
meet HTPS Mike’s Burger Knights.
Meanwhile, there is some good news for food loving fans. Mike’s Burgers will put up their famous brand on sale at an outlet in the arena after a trial run last week proved a big hit.
The playoffs are still a long way ahead but is worth taking a look at the system for awarding points that ultimately determines the final standings. According to the organisers, teams get three points for a win, one for a loss and none for a forfeit.
In the event of a two-team tie, the deciding factor would be the head-to-head result. But in the case of a multi-team deadlock, the tie-breaker would involve a differential worked out from the total points scored and total points conceded.
- At Beeline Arena, Chhroy Changvar peninsula
- Phnom Penh Dragons v Mobitel XG Warriors – 1pm
- Sabay Salty Crabs v CCPL Heat 2:15pm
- Team Sharky v Raid-Alaxan FR 3:30pm
- Sela Meas v HTPS Mike’s Burger Knights – 4:45pm
To contact the reporter on this story: H S Manjunath at [email protected]