With the eight play-off teams already known, the penultimate gameweek in the Cambodian Basketball League, sponsored by Western Union and Coca Cola, will be about jostling for better positions for advantageous quarter-final match-ups.
Of the three contests fixed for tomorrow at Beeline Arena, the one involving the unbeaten Alaxan FR Patriots is garnering the most attention, with fans eager to see if the CCPL Heat can topple the leaders’ applecart, something other teams have tried mighty hard but failed to do.
The Heat will take the court without their centre and tallest player Salva Butsaman, who has returned home to Spain, thus shifting the scoring burden on the consistent Panha Sovann. The well-organised Patriots have no shortage of tall players who can dominate the rebounds.
After a somewhat sloppy start to the season, Pate 310 have grown in confidence following a string of victories, including one against second ranked IRB The Lord.
Pate will clash with the all-Cambodian Sela Meas, who got closer to the mighty Patriots than any other side with a 66-63 defeat, only their third this season.
The Cellcard Eagles are breathing a lot easier after clinching the final play-off spot last week.
They take on the Phnom Penh Dragons, whose five-match winning streak was smashed by the Patriots. The Eagles will make size count again, just as they did last week against NSK Dream.
Dragons coach Michael Dibbern says his players will be wary of their opposition’s offence. “In defence, it will be key for us to box them out and guard them tight when they overload,” he told the Post.
Pate 310 v Sela Meas – 2pm
PP Dragons v Cellcard Eagles – 4pm
Alaxan FR Patriots v CCPL Heat – 6pm