Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Master Steak beat Fighters to lead finals



Master Steak beat Fighters to lead finals

Content image - Phnom Penh Post
Extra Joss Fighters’ Humphery Gabriel dunks during his team’s loss to Master Steak. Photo supplied

Master Steak beat Fighters to lead finals

One of Phnom Penh’s toughest basketball outfits, Extra Joss Fighters, determined to end their “finals hoodoo’’ which has seen them lose three showdowns in the last five years, went down 71-76 to Master Steak in the first game of the 2018 CCC Basketball Trophy on Sunday night.

Beaten by just one point by the Fighters during the regular round robin phase of this CCC summer event, Master Steak gained their revenge to take a giant step towards the title.

They need a win on October 14 in the second game of the three-game finals to clinch the deal.

In the more leisurely league phase and the playoffs, the Fighters had built an aura of invincibility, entering the title round with an all-win record. But that came crashing down despite the side putting up a stiff fight all the way.

A player of good standing from the Philippines, Aimar Sabayo, combining well with Janno Cunnaman, kept the fighters on the hop in the early stages but that intense first quarter also saw the youthful combination of the Humphery Gabriel (18) and Justin Alphonso (15) keep the Fighters going to get to five points behind their rivals.

Master Steak had a four-point lead at half-time largely due to veteran Gadaffi and his protege Gabriel doing good work in the heart of a 2-3 defensive set-up which reined in Sabayo and Cunnaman.

But Dong Menghmal and Saguil’s long rangers kept Master Steak ahead.

Dragons outsmart Bayon

Fighters coach Oktavianus Hauw opted for three big men, bringing KC Slam Duke, Gadaffi and Gabriel into the back three, with Alphonso and Rayson Ballestero on top.

It proved effective as Master Steak began to find it hard to drive through and had to resort to outside shooting, opening up chances for Fighters to make fast transition.

Even as the Fighters drew level at 58 points each, both Gadaffi and Slam Duke were heading for trouble with four personal fouls apiece, prompting the coach to take one of them off the court with seven minutes to run on the clock.

Master Steak took advantage of this gaping hole as their rivals presented them with no less than three turnovers in succession. Cunnaman (17) and Sabayo (20) relished these openings and Steak were back on top by seven points with three minutes left.

The rest was about holding on to the lead.

Earlier in the day, Smart Dragons outsmarted Bayon 86-65 in the fifth and sixth place playoffs, while Saiyan left it late before seeing off UYFC Siem Reap 61-57 to win the third and fourth place playoffs.

MOST VIEWED

  • Volunteer scheme to foster ‘virtuous’ humanitarian spirit

    A senior education official said volunteer work contributes to solidarity and promotes a virtuous humanitarian spirit among the youth and communities. Serei Chumneas, undersecretary of state at the Ministry of Education, Youth and Sport, made the comment during the opening of a training programme called “

  • Chinese firms unveil preliminary results on metro, monorail for capital

    Minister of Public Works and Transport Sun Chanthol and representatives from China Road and Bridge Corp (CRBC) and its parent company, the state-owned China Communications Construction Co Ltd (CCCC), met on June 24 for talks on results of the firms’ preliminary study on a potential metro

  • ACLEDA, WU to enable global money transfers

    Cambodia's largest commercial bank by total assets ACLEDA Bank Plc and global money transfer firm Western Union (WU) have partnered to offer customers cross-border money transfers to 200 countries via “ACLEDA mobile” app. In Channy, president and group managing director of ACLEDA, said the June 22 agreement

  • Num banh chok pizza a new fusion hit

    Num banh chok is a traditional fish curry with fermented rice noodles, prahok fish paste, kroeung paste, flowering plants and seasonal vegetables that is arguably a strong contender for “national dish” status in Cambodia and typically served for breakfast or eaten as an afternoon snack.

  • Cambodia detects new Covid cases after 52 days: PM

    After 52 days of zero new Covid-19 cases, Cambodia has now detected new infections, according to Prime Minister Hun Sen. In his special audio address to the nation late on June 28, Hun Sen said the new cases were detected on people who had undergone PCR tests

  • Higher education leaders tour US

    With support from the US Department of State, 10 Cambodian leaders in higher education participated in the 10-day International Visitors Leadership Programme (IVLP) in three US states from June 19 to July 1. They included nine university rectors and directors of higher education institutions who are members of