The Phnom Penh basketball community-backed six-team mini league, sponsored by Chitato Potato Chips, got off to a bright start at the Cambodian Country Club Court on Sunday, with Extra Joss Fighters blowing out Warriors 123-93, as Smart Dragons produced a fourth quarter push to get past MSGM 60-48.
The city’s first notable event of the season tipped off with Master Tapsi beating Team Respeck 77-54 in the opener, but it was Extra Joss who caught the eye by playing to their strengths in posting triple digit scoring on the board.
Tapsi showcased classy players like Aimar Sabayo, Dong Menghamal and Jasper Serrano and led the first quarter 29-9, and at half time it was 34-24.
Sabayo top scored with 16 points to win the MVP award. Rosay Khou scored 14 points for Respeck to initiate a third quarter fightback but they were still down by 16 points before Tapsi pulled away to extend the margin
Warriors put to sword
In the second game, Extra Joss Fighters hit the century mark with a strong burst of scoring in the final quarter.
After a leisurely start, the 2015 and 2016 Cambodian Basketball League finalists took the first quarter 29-26.
The Fighters went into the break with only an eight point-lead, and with all three centres, Ken Gadaffi, Christian Michael and Alaska Bona, already on four personal fouls.
Coach Oktavianus Hauw shuffled his team to preserve his big men, which paid off in the third quarter as the Fighters cushioned their lead at 89-64.
Sander David with 24 points and RJ Dela Rosa (19) scored a couple of 3-pointers as the Fighters finished strongly to post a huge win and become the first among the six teams in contention to record a triple digit score.
Smart Dragons survived a scare from Chinese dominated side MSGM before Jeff Kane’s 3-pointers made a huge difference in the fourth quarter after having trailed in the first two spells.
By half-time Hong Kwang had ensured MSGM a 26-24 lead.
The combination of Ladon (12) and Jeff Kane( 14), however, spurred Smart Dragon on in the third quarter to even out at 43-43.
The physical dominance of the Dragons eventually wore down MSGM as they used their offensive rebounds to full advantage in the run home.