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Saturday stacked with CBL showdowns

Saturday stacked with CBL showdowns

A long card of four games stretching from 10 in the morning to sundown will feature Saturday’s action at the Beeline Arena in the Cambodian Basketball League sponsored by Western Union and Coca-Cola.
The best of the match-ups will come last when the Phnom Penh Dragons and Ganzberg would be des-
perate to break their two-game ducks, having taken home some positives from those defeats.
For the Dragons, the team chemistry is beginning to improve and the narrow loss to IRB The Lord (52-48) brought out a few chinks that coach Michael Dibbern has taken pains to turn around.
But he has no doubt in his mind that the pressure points have been well defined for both sides and the game may well turn out to be one of high intensity.

“Both teams are anxious to chip in their first win. Three Ganzberg players – Jeff Cruz, Emman Quiriz and Jerry Roxas – played for the Dragons and we know what to expect from them,” Dibbern told the Post.

“The key to our success will be preventing their fast break passes and not give them easy three-point shooting chances.”

Ganzberg’s shocking 20-point loss to CCPL Heat left some scars on the team, coming as it did after a close call against mighty Alaxan FR Patriots in the season opener.

Two bottom-half teams in the rankings, Cellcard Eagles and Galaxy, will be the first to take the court in the morning. Interestingly, both will have the kind of reinforcements they are desperately looking for.

While the Eagles will have their player-coach Geoff Harry back in the team, the all-Chinese Galaxy will be much relieved to see their star scorer Kelvin Chan back in business after missing the game that his side lost against Sela Meas.

In the first all-Cambodian encounter of the day, IRB The Lord, one of the well-fancied contenders for the title will be up against Sela Meas, who were out-pointed in their last outing by the Eagles.

With two wins behind them, IRB are decidedly in better physical and mental shape than their rivals. But Sela Meas had the full measure of IRB when the two sides met in last year’s Challenge round.

A lot of water has passed under the bridge since but that performance at the back of Sela Meas players’ minds may help them deal with their rivals on a better footing.

Another predominantly Cambodian clash has CCPL Heat, who head the 12-team rankings, take on bottom-most Pate 310. Barring two foreigners, Heat have a strong local presence and the team has presented a bold front in both impressive wins.

How well Pate withstand the Heat will largely depend on how well Sok Tour can get the much needed help when it comes to the crunch.

Saturday’s Games
Cellcard Eagles v Galaxy 10am
IRB The Lord v Sela Meas 2pm
CCPL Heat v Pate 310 – 4pm
Phnom Penh Dragons v Ganzberg – 6pm

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