Extra Joss Warriors lived up to their name and found that extra ounce of energy in the waning moments of an intensely contested game to down a gutsy Pate 310 by the shortest of margins 61-60 in their Cambodian Basketball League tie at Beeline Arena
In a lively affair that featured the Warriors’ size and Pate’s speed, the finish came down to a foul on Ley Denestrossa and, on his two free throws, hinged the outcome with just one second left. The sides had battled all the way to a dead-even 60 until that game changing moment. Denestrossa missed the first to bring more drama and anxiety to the climax but, to a collective sigh of relief in the Warriors troupe, he basketed the second.
That winning point boosted his personal tally to an impressive 30. Fred Babida’s eight points was the next best for the Warriors. Sok Tour toiled hard for Pate, emerging as their top scorer at 15, with support coming from Taing Peng Kuy (11 points).
Size advantage in the paint was Warriors main weapon, while Pate, conceding so much on height, relied on their speed of foot and good shooting rate. After the Warriors led 26-24 at half-time, Pate’s strong third quarter showing had hauled them back to lead 45-40 at the end of the third.
In the opening game of the day, the all-Chinese Galaxy touched off the Post Buffaloes 51-48. Kelvin Chau turned the first quarter into a one-man show, scoring nine of a 13-2 lead for Galaxy. Buffaloes could count only one basket from Gino Gicqueau.
Galaxy seemed to suffer from a power outage in the second and Buffaloes began to steadily tick the scoreboard thanks to the efforts of Ryan Baker and Jay Roden, who carried a pre-game leg injury to the court.
At 21-all, the second half opened up for both sides, but the final moves by Ah Jie and Wang Gen made that crucial difference in favour of Galaxy.
Kelvin Chau top scored for Galaxy with 20, with Ah Jie contributing one less. For the Buffaloes, Jay Roden (19 points) and Ryan Baker (15) stood out.
Phnom Penh Dragons were consumed by CCPL Heat 40-54 in a game that was marked by loads of fouls called by the two referees.
In fact, the number was a staggering 64, which accounted for twenty per cent more than the two previous games combined, reducing the game to more of a free-throw contest.
The Heat were decidedly better than the Dragons from the line.
The Dragons could manage to basket only 18 from 40, while Heat had a markedly healthy rate in the conversions.
With field baskets hard to come by it was no surprise that the half time score was a near-equal 18-17. But what seemingly turned the game away from the Dragons was the fourth foul called on Dragons centre Erik Laughlin after 13 minutes of play, a setback the team could hardly recover from.
Kim Ran (17 points) and Chan Sephal (11) came out good for Heat, while Laughlin (10), Regis Martin (9) and Leng Seng (8) were Dragons top three scorers.
“[The] fourth foul called on Erik Laughlin at the beginning of the second quarter completely changed the configuration of the game for us. I had to keep him on the bench for the decisive moments of the game,” Dragons coach and CBL coordinator Michael Dibbern told the Post.
“We never found our rhythm on quick transitions and to our set offence the Heat stood up well too.”