Team Sharky’s Curran Hendry (C) drives to the hoop during their Cambodia Basketball Challenge game on Saturday at Beeline Arena. Photograph: Sreng Meng Srun/Phnom Penh Post
Team Sharky lived up to their name in thrashing back against the mighty Raid-Alaxan FR in a fierce battle that was grudgingly settled in extra time on Saturday.
The heightened excitement of Team Sharky’s 61-54 victory ended Raid-Alaxan’s two-week unbeaten run in the Cambodia Basketball Challenge presented by Banzai and Sabay at the Beeline Arena.
Curran Hendry, just back after a trip to Scotland, produced one stunning basket for Sharky with barely 25 seconds left in the fourth quarter that would turn the contest on its head.
Raid-Alaxan, who had jumped into an early lead, managed to cling on to it for all of 39 minutes before Team Sharky began their counter-attack. Hendry’s basket tied the game at 50-50, forcing extra time, which Team Sharky quickly turned into their advantage as Colin Meyn hit back-to-back three-pointers.
Meyn top scored for Team Sharky with 24 points with team-mate Jeff Kane adding 14.
Raid-Alaxan could hardly raise their own game, and the side’s leading scorer Aimar Sabayo, who accounted for every one of his side’s 18 points in the second half, went scoreless in extra time. Overall, Sabayo was easily the most productive, tallying 26 points, his third straight over-20-points game.
Well before this dramatic finish unfolded, Sabay Salty Crabs rolled into their third victory, this time shutting off CCPL Heat 51-44. The Crabs led early and kept going, and at one stage had a 20-point lead early in the third quarter.
The Heat tried to make a desperate run in the fourth quarter, but it was far too late to make any impact.
Served well by Im Pronita’s triple of three-pointers, the Crabs, who remain the only unbeaten side, owed their victory to Sokhun Vireak (9 points) and Kim Veng Ngoun (8). For CCPL Heat, Sok Tour and Sovan Panha scored 13 points apiece.
In a game dominated by fast breaks and a horde of three-pointers, the all-Cambodian team Sela Meas posted the highest score and the biggest winning margin of the competition so far when beating HTPS Mike’s Burger Knights 85-59.
Sok Pagna drilled five three-pointers, four of them in the third quarter, as Sela Meas took a firm hold and picked scores of over 20 in all the four quarters. Pheng Dara came into his own with some slick shooting for a personal tally of 18 points.
For the Knights, who found the pace too hot to handle, Mark Ruel (18) did well in the company of Jaypee Garcia and Jurizze Santiago, who each contributed 15 points.
Successive defeats had only made Phnom Penh Dragons more determined than ever to break the ice, and the team achieved that goal without much ado, beating Mobitel XG Warriors 79-71.
The Dragons jumped into an early 8-0 lead, thanks to successive three-pointers by Jerry Roxas, who by the end of the game added three more to emerge as the side’s top scorer with 17. Admirable support came from Kelvin Chan (14).
For the Warriors, Josua Schmitz (21) and Jerry Manus (18) fought bravely.
Sabay Salty Crabs lead the Week 3 standings with nine points, ahead of Team Sharky, Raid-Alaxan FR and Sela Meas, all on seven points.
To contact the reporter on this story: H S Manjunath at [email protected]