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Monday November 19, 2012

Farmcochem beat Dragons to grab MNBL title

Inspiring form: Westports Malaysia Dragons’ Moala Tautuaa reacts after netting the ball during the
Malaysia National Basketball League final yesterday. — M. AZHAR ARIF / The Star Inspiring form: Westports Malaysia Dragons’ Moala Tautuaa reacts after netting the ball during the Malaysia National Basketball League final yesterday. — M. AZHAR ARIF / The Star

KUALA LUMPUR: Farmcochem finally got their hands on the Malaysia National Basketball League (MNBL) title when they edged Westports Malaysia Dragons 81-78 at the Maba Stadium yesterday.

The Perak based team were hungry for the title after heartbreaks in the past two years.

They were beaten by the Dragons in 2010 and nicked by a single point in the 79-78 defeat by the Sarawak Fire Horse last year.

But luck was on their side this time as they finally came out tops.

Led by the league’s Most Valuable Player (MVP) Chris Kuete, Farmcochem stormed to a 25-15 first quarter lead.

The Dragons battled back with Filipino forward Moala Tautuaa in inspired form.

But Farmcochem earned a few lucky breaks and led 42-36 and 60-57 in the second and third quarter respectively.

Loh Shee Fai then scored a late three-pointer as the Dragons closed in to 78-79 with seconds on the clock.

But Koh Way Teck put Farmcochem three points ahead with a late basket and Dragons’ sharpshooter K. Satyaseelan missed a three-pointer in the last second as the match ended in dramatic fashion.

Kuete led the team with 26 points and 11 rebounds while Way Teck had 16.

Tautuaa responded for the Dragons with 30 points while big man Chee Li Wei added 11.

Farmcochem head coach Paul Advincula shed tears of joy after the match.

“This has been a really tough journey with half my team suffering injuries,” said Advincula.

“But I never gave up on them and they delivered.

“I knew we had it in the bag when we got the upper hand late on. I told the boys to stay composed.”

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