Published: Sunday August 10, 2014 MYT 6:55:00 PM
Updated: Sunday August 10, 2014 MYT 7:19:25 PM

Basketball: Scharer plays pivotal role in Dragons' win in ABL

Scharer (left) scored 17 points in Dragons' win against Saigon Heat at Ho Chi Minh City.

Scharer (left) scored 17 points in Dragons' win against Saigon Heat at Ho Chi Minh City.

PETALING JAYA: Point guard Avery Scharer is all fired up to continue his dream start for Westports Malaysia Dragons after playing a crucial role in a high-scoring 102-98 win over Vietnam’s Saigon Heat in the Asean Basketball League (ABL) in Ho Chi Minh City.

The 28-year-old Scharer sank a buzzer-beating three-pointer at the end of the fourth quarter to tie the game at 88-all on Saturday.

And despite a few nervy moments, another crucial three-pointer – this time from Loh Shee Fai – before Kwaan Yoong Jing finished off a turnover move gave the Dragons their third win of the season to move into second place in the six-team league.

Scharer, who featured for the Dragons in the Malaysian National Basketball League (MNBL) last year, was all smiles after finishing the game with 17 points. Chris Eversley led the way for the Dragons with 27 points while Justin Knox and Moala Tautuaa added 19 and 16 points respectively.

“It was a good debut. I felt good and healthy. Most importantly, the team battled and fought hard for the win,” said Filipino-American Scharer.

“The buzzer-beater that sent the game into overtime was probably the biggest shot in my career. It’s one of those moments when there’s no time to think, rather it’s down to instinct and the basic fundamentals.

“But it’s really good to get off to a winning start because I feel this team can go on to build something special. It’s a tight team and I’m happy to be a part of it.”

Meanwhile, Dragons’ head coach Ariel Vanguardia hailed the win as “scary but character building”.

“We definitely improved as a team facing this kind of adversity. It wasn’t the best defensive game but we just need to adjust from here on,” said Vanguardia.

“It’s still a team game and it’s good to see guys like (Ooi) Ban Sin and Shee Fai being consistent, while Yoong Jing is finally finding his groove on court.”

The Dragons’ next game will be against Singapore Slingers on Aug 15.


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