The Angkor Beer Cambodian Basketball League swings back into action after the Pchum Ben holiday break with a four-game line-up over the weekend at the Olympic Stadium Indoor Arena.
Saturday’s standout game is between the top two in the rankings, Pate 310 and Mekong Tigers, who both will hit the court with differing moods but an identical track record of four wins and a loss.
It took a late swoop for Pate to touch off Smart Dragons 61-59 in their last outing even as the Tigers were beaten for the first time this season by Emperors 77-74 in a sensational nip and tip finish.
It is this pre-match build up that is promising a game of high intensity as both sides look for top spot before the start of the play-offs in the next few weeks.
Tigers top shooter Sok Samnang will be eager to lead the charge after his early exit against Emperors game, fouled out barely 10 minutes into the game. Pheng Darath’s three-point shooting could be crucial for Tigers in dealing with a fully rounded side like Pate.
The trio of Sok Tour, Taing Peng Kuy and Ouch Phanat will again be Pate’s mainstay in attack and team manager Chea Koktry is expecting the return of guard Adam Tayyaba who missed the last game.
Fifth ranked Extra Joss Fighters, whose fortunes seemed to have turned for the better with the arrival of Filipino Stephen Siruma, take on seventh ranked CCPL Warriors in tomorrow’s second game.
After starting the season on the wrong foot with two defeats, the Fighters have recovered well enough to post three wins in a row on the back of Siruma’s inspired showing.
At the other end, the Warriors overturned a three-game losing streak by beating Sabay Tiger Mosquitoes on September 14. The return of Vince Del Mundo, who top scored against the Mosquitoes, is a huge relief for the side but manager Jon Naval will be hoping for better court chemistry between Sovann Panha, Del Mundo and Jeff Cruz to haul the Warriors over the line.
Sunday’s action begins with a mismatch of sorts. Emperors, who are one of the top market fancies for the title will be up against GL Concrete, who have lost all their games so far with the dubious record of being the worst defence in the league, conceding on an average of 88 points every game.
In the fourth and the final game of the weekend, Smart Dragons will face Sabay Tiger Mosquitoes.
The Dragons were swamped by Davies Paints in their last outing, a loss that has triggered some critical review of the side’s performances on several fronts.
Shooting guard Leng Seng will miss this game but Dragons are happy to have back on court Rindra Norodom, who was injured for a long time.
The Mosquitoes will be desperate to turn around four successive defeats, hugely impacted by several injury concerns with key players Jay Rodden and Trent Fechter ruled out of the season.
Saturday September 27
Pate 310 v Mekong Tigers – 2pm
Extra Joss Fighters v CCPL Warriors – 4pm
Sunday September 28
Emperors v GL Concrete – 2pm
Smart Dragons v Sabay Tiger Mosquitoes – 4pm