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Saturday September 28, 2013 MYT 7:52:00 PM
Saturday September 28, 2013 MYT 7:54:44 PM
by kng zheng guan
Dragons’ point guard Avery Scharer tries to get past three players from Warriors in their MNBL semi-final match.
KUALA LUMPUR: The Kelantan Warriors showed incredible perseverance to turn the tables on Westports Malaysia Dragons in overtime to storm into the final of the Malaysian National Basketball League (MNBL) at the Maba Stadium.
The Warriors had lost the first leg of the semi-final 68-81 on Friday and needed to win Saturday’s match by more than 13 points to progress.
And they did just that – tearing apart a dismal Dragons team 95-74 after regulation time ended 75-62 in the Warriors’ favour, leaving the aggregate score at 143-all.
Led by 2.10m-tall centre Jonathan Kreft, the Warriors expertly clamped down on the Dragons’ shooting prowess early on, allowing them only three baskets in the first quarter.
With the experienced quartet of Chee Li Wei, John Ng, Wee Chuan Chin and Wong Wee Seng supporting Kreft and fellow American Devon Sullivan, the Warriors stormed to a 47-25 lead by the end of the second quarter.
Dragons’ point guard Avery Scharer tried to get his team back on track and, for a while, it seemed as though the Asean Basketball League (ABL) side could pull it off as they only trailed by 10 points with less than a minute left in the final quarter.
But Kreft came up with a massive three-pointer to send the match into overtime.
Kreft contributed 21 points and 18 rebounds while Wee Seng had 18 points, including four three-pointers.
Dragons’ Scharer finished with 27 points.
“After losing the first leg, I didn’t think it would have been possible to make the final,” said Kreft.
“This is a team effort, everyone carried his weight in this performance and I’m really excited.”
The Warriors will face defending champions Farmcochem for the title.
The Perak-based team lost the second leg 81-83 to Sarawak Firehorse but still go through thanks to their 77-60 first-leg win.
Tags / Keywords:
basketball, Malaysian National Basketball League, MNBL, Kelantan Warriors, Westports Malaysia Dragons, Jonathan Kreft, Avery Scharer
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