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Friday September 27, 2013 MYT 10:11:00 PM
Friday September 27, 2013 MYT 10:13:17 PM
by kng zheng guan
Westports Malaysia Dragons' Kwaan Yoong Jing (right) scores past Kelantan Warriors' Jonathan Kreft during the first leg of the Malaysian National Basketball League semi-finals.
KUALA LUMPUR: The Westports Malaysia Dragons flexed their muscles by beating the Kelantan Warriors 78-68 in the first leg of the Malaysian National Basketball League semi-finals at the Maba Stadium on Friday.
Despite having what was supposed to be a weaker squad, the Dragons have been going great guns, topping the five-team league with a win-loss record of 7-1 to enter the semi-finals as the top-ranked team.
The Warriors on the other hand had a 3-5 record in the league and entered the semi-finals as the fourth seed.
But the Warriors, led by American imports Jonathan Kreft and Devon Sullivan showed their intent early on, racing to a 14-6 lead.
The Dragons however pegged them back with better shooting from the outside as the first quarter ended 18 points apiece.
The Dragons stepped up their game in the second quarter, as American point guard Avery Scharer moved into second gear with a wide array of dazzling passes. The Dragons surged ahead 43-30.
The third quarter was a tighter affair as both teams started to tire but the Dragons held on to a 56-42 lead.
The Warriors mounted a late comeback in the final quarter but crucially lost Kreft and John Ng to foul trouble as the Dragons ran away comfortable winners.
Travis Hyman led the Dragons with 18 points and 18 rebounds while Scharer dazzled with 17 points and nine assists. Loh Shee Fai also made a significant contribution with 16 points.
The Warriors had Kreft who led with 17 points and 17 rebounds while Chee Li Wei had 15 points.
The competition however is far from over because according to the tournament rules, the second leg will be played because the Dragons did not win by more than 30 points in this leg.
There is still a chance for the Warriors to make the final though, but they must beat the Dragons in the second leg on Saturday.
Tags / Keywords:
basketball, Westports Malaysia Dragons, Kelantan Warriors, Malaysian National Basketball League
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