The Phnom Penh Dragons put to work their three-game winning momentum to oust Extra Joss Warriors 60-46 at the Beeline Arena on Sunday in the Cambodian Basketball League sponsored by Western Union and Coca-Cola.
The Dragons victory was built around some solid three-way transition passing between Erik Laughlin, Leng Seng and Jay Bookilin, the latter of whom notched 15 points.
When it came to handling the Warriors’ main weapon in the paint and former Philippines professional Chris Bolado, the Dragons had Mat suki Nishikawa (16 points) cracking the code with some amazing under-the-rim moves.
The Dragons swiftly took control of the tempo right at the start and the Warriors were unable to find a basket in the first five minutes of the opening quarter. A brief third session rally by the Warriors, however, saw them get to within nine points of their rivals.
But a couple of sharp breaks from Khan Karakhanov and Martin Regis stretched the lead for the Dragons, whose reward for winning this crucial game was a hop over the Warriors in the ranking order.
None of the Warriors players could hit double digits.
Fred Babida and Carlos Gatdula scored nine each while Josuha Schmitz could only garner seven.
Meanwhile, Sela Meas made good a spate of turnovers to score a thumping 76-47 win over CCPL Heat, who never quite got their rhythm right.
Sela Meas led every minute of the way with the consistent Samnang Sok (21 points) playing havoc with Heat's unsure defence. Support for him upfront came from Try Thalidan (14 points).
The only voice of defiance for Heat was that of Panha Sovann (17 points).
In a high-intensity contest that slipped into overtime, Pate 310 edged past Cellcard Eagles 56-48, after the teams were dead-even on 40 when the regulation buzzer went off.
At the start of the fourth quarter, Pate had a small but significant six-point lead but the Eagles, led by Geoff Harry, hit back so strongly that they were two points in front with seconds left.
A timely interception allowed Pate’s Rann Noren to bucket the equaliser.
In the five minutes of overtime that followed, Pate put a totally different complexion on the game and jumped into a lead the Eagles found hard to reverse despite trying to get Pate often on the fouling line.
Taing Peng Kuy was the lead scorer for Pate with 28 points while Sean Looney (18) and Geoff Harry (15) did well for the Eagles.
The last of the four matches charted for the day produced an anti-climax of sorts. IRB the Lord were ready and eager to get going but there was no sign of their rivals Ganzberg. They eventually failed to show up, prompting the organisers to declare a forfeit which under the FIBA rules, results in no points allocation but penalises the team playing truant 20 points.
NSK Dream win replay
In a late Friday evening match-up, NSK Dream defeated Ganzberg 84-65 in a replay of a game played earlier in the season.
Ganzberg’s win in the first game was nullified since the team had violated player regulation, having fielded four unauthorised players then.
Meanwhile, the organisers have reframed the Post Buffaloes v NSK Dream match, postponed last week, for today at the Beeline Arena starting from 8pm.