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Sunday January 13, 2013

Dragons off towinning start in fourth ABL season

PETALING JAYA: The Westports Malaysia Dragons got off to a perfect start in the fourth season of the Asean Basketball League (ABL) when they beat Saigon Heat 80-70 in Ho Chi Minh City yesterday.

The Dragons, beaten semi-finalists last year, used to struggle on the road and even lost 70-69 in the corresponding fixture last season.

But the Dragons, buoyed by the acquisition of Americans Cedric Bozeman and Gavin Edwards raced to a 24-13 advantage in the first quarter and a 40-29 lead by halftime.

However, the Heat’s new signings – David Palmer and Dior Lowhorn – led an impressive comeback in the third quarter to cut Dragons’ lead to just 59-53 in the third quarter.

Palmer was a standout in the match, scoring a game-high 34 points and grabbing 18 rebounds while Lowhorn had 23 points and 12 rebounds.

The Dragons, however, managed to pull away in the fourth quarter with captain B. Guganeswaran netting a couple of free-throws towards the end of the match.

Three Dragons players were in double digits – Bozeman with 25 points, Edwards with 14 and Guganeswaran with 11.

On Friday, ABL runners-up San Miguel Beermen exacted sweet revenge when they beat defending champions Indonesia Warriors 64-53.

The Beermen lost 2-1 in the best of three tie in last year’s finals.

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