Raid-Alaxan FR’s Mark Salvador (L) tries to guard Sabay Salty Crabs’ Eng Eavhai during their Cambodia Basketball Challenge game at Beeline Arena on Saturday. Photograph: Sreng Meng Srun/Phnom Penh Post
Sabay Salty Crabs are turning themselves into a winning machine in the inaugural Cambodia Basketball Challenge presented by Banzai and Sabay. At the Beeline Arena on Saturday, the Crabs recorded their fifth straight victory this season when they ousted Raid-Alaxan FR 64-51.
A strong showing in the first half of the game saw the Crabs speedily getting into a position of strength.
With Monh Ratana’s long-range shooting clicking well, Sean Looney’s imposing under-the-rim presence added to the misery of Raid-Alaxan, who had already been dealt a pre-game blow by star forward Aimar Sabayo’s absence through injury.
By the end of the second quarter, the Crabs led by a huge 21 points and for the rest of the way they rode that advantage home to comfortably defend their unbeaten record.
But even with the points deficit weighing heavily on their shoulders, Raid-Alaxan staged a remarkable fourth-quarter rally, posting 24 points on top of their first three single-digit quarters.
Monh Ratana led the scoring for the Crabs with 14 points to Sean Looney’s 13. For Raid-Alaxan, Eljay Bonabra got 19 points and Mark Salvador scored 11.
In a tense game of fast-swinging fortunes, Sela Meas edged out Team Sharky 51-49.
It was a one-basket game in favour of Team Sharky with two minutes left in the final quarter, but Sela Meas kept their cool to find a couple of crucial baskets.
With seconds left on the clock, Team Sharky had two free throws to tie the scores, but they missed both, letting the all-Cambodian side get away with a thrilling win.
Sok Samnang (14 points) and Phon Chandara (10) came good for Sela Meas, while Lawrence Makhoul (19) and Colin Meyn (10) did well for Team Sharky.
Phnom Penh Dragons won their third match in a row, beating CCPL Heat 75-59.
Will Zheng led the Dragons onslaught with a personal contribution of 15 points, and he drew good support from Jeff Cruz and Emman Quiriz, who added 12 points each.
For CCPL Heat, Kim Ran’s 20 was a notable effort, with Nheb Chansophal chipping in 13 points.
Joshua Schmitz (27 points) and Fred Babida (26 points) rolled in some quick baskets to help Mobitel XG Warriors pile up a 95-60 win over Mike’s Burger Knights, for whom Joel Madlang-awa (13 points) and Cedrick Ragel (12) stood out.
To contact the reporter on this story: H S Manjunath at [email protected]