In a frenetic overtime finish, Mekong Tigers snatched a 97-85 win over Extra Joss Fighters to go 1-0 up in the best of three Championship round of the Cambodia Basketball League at the Olympic Stadium indoor arena on Saturday.
The crucial second game is scheduled for 5pm on September 12.The climactic moments of the regulation time saw the Fighters, who had possession of the ball with 11 seconds to go and 81-all on the score-board, miss out on Jomar’ Santos drive-in lay up. It came back to haunt them in the ensuing five minutes of overtime where the initiative firmly swung the Tigers way.
A couple of three pointers from Pheng Darath won the argument and the day for the Tigers, as the Fighters at the other end were firing blanks.
A good turnout greeted the finalists as they hit the floor looking for their first title success, having sent packing two former champions in the semifinals.
The Fighters showed lot of gate speed to jump into a 15-7 lead in the opening stanza but by the end of it they narrowly led 19-17.
By the half way stage, however, the Tigers had hit the straps well enough to take the break ahead of their rivals.
A closely fought third quarter saw rapidly shifting patterns on the court with the Fighters not giving much away.
The Tigers, on the other hand, had a nice game plan in place with Matt VP raising the tempo of the game by sinking three consecutive three-pointers to give his side a 7-point headwind.
When the game entered the climactic phase Relampagos, Siruma and Jomar Santos were holding the Fighters together.
With 32 seconds left on the clock the Fighters led 79-78, but Matt VP pulled the game back in favour of the Tigers from the free throw line.
It was then Edmer Pansoy’s turn to get the Fighters out of trouble and level the scores once again at 81.
Ravuth had a great chance to end the game from the free throw line with 11 seconds to go but missed both his shots.
Holding the ball with just 11 seconds to kill, Jomar Santos charged in for his lay up but missed the mark, pushing the game inevitably to five minutes of overtime.
A couple of long range baskets from Pheng Darath brought huge relief in the Tigers camp as the side wrapped up the first game.
Earlier in the afternoon, Davies Megacryl beat Pate Phnom Penh 82-74 in the third place play off.