Intensity was high and the Cambodian-Filipino rivalry was at its fiercest as Sela Meas outgunned Extra Joss Warriors 66-58 at the Beeline Arena on Saturday to improve their ranking to third in the Cambodian Basketball League sponsored by the Western Union and Coca-Cola.
It was neck-and-neck all along, but what made the crucial difference was a sloppy second quarter by the Warriors, during which Sela Meas built up a seven-point cushion that stood them in good stead.
The Warriors regrouped well enough in the next two close sessions, 18-17 and 17-17, but the all-Cambodian Sela Meas were in no mood to relent and firmly held on. Kluy led the Sela Meas points hunt with 17, while Sok Samnang chipped in with 13.
As usual, Fred Babida came out best for the Warriors with 20 points. Josuha Schmitz (13) and Ley Denetrosa (11) played the support cast well.
Phnom Penh Dragons got their act together in a runaway 71-37 win over Chinese team Galaxy, who went in without their star player Kelvin Chan. His absence was a clear plus for the Dragons, who came away with a 23-10 first quarter.
Galaxy did well to contain their opponents in the next 20 minutes by slowing down the tempo. But the fourth quarter was a different story altogether.
The Dragons notched up 30 to Galaxy’s 10 and the rout was complete. Ben Laird (25) and Leng Seng (16) kept the Dragons going, while Wang Xuefeng managed 10 points for Galaxy.
“The team played great in what was a typical trap game,” Dragons coach Michael Dibbern told the Post. “We lost our rhythm a bit when Galaxy slowed the game down, but in the fourth quarter we scored a lot of fast breaks.”
Despite Pate 310 beating Post Buffaloes by a 20-point margin at 78-58, it was a victory earned in a hard fight. Both sides were under pressure having lost all but one of their previous five games.
At dead-even 14, the first quarter defined the mood in both camps.
But a sudden shift of gears saw Pate surge into a 10-point half-time lead, thanks to Sok Tour hitting some nice baskets. After the break, Buffaloes tried mighty hard to stay in the game but the gap proved too wide to bridge once Pate took firm control of the fourth quarter.
Overall, it was Taing Teng Kuy’s consistency that did the trick for Pate. His 28 points adding lustre to Sok Tour’s 23. For the Buffaloes, Adam Noah was outstanding with 23 points.
“What helped us to win today was our performance from the free throw line. I still believe we will make it to the playoffs,” Pate team manager Chamnan Toun told the Post.