KUALA LUMPUR: Veteran cagers B. Guganeswaran and Ooi Ban Sin delivered when it mattered most as Farmco TouchUp clinched the inaugural Malaysia Pro League (MPL).
Ban Sin hit 20 points and Guganeswaran contributed 16 points as Farmco saw off KL Dragons Basketball Academy 83-78 in the final at the Maba Stadium yesterday.
Farmco were looking to avenge their 81-67 loss to the Dragons on Oct 13 and they did that by racing to an 8-3 lead. But the Dragons upped a gear to end the first quarter with an 18-15 lead.
Farmco, however, fought back in the second quarter with a 10-0 run before pushing on for a 35-21 lead.
The Dragons then rallied and two clutch three-pointers by 16-year-old Phan Wee Chen saw them trail just 34-39 at half-time.
The third quarter saw a fierce fightback by the Dragons as they slashed the lead to 60-59.
But Farmco, powered by 2.23m Maltese giant Samuel Deguara, managed to push ahead to 81-78 before Guganeswaran finished the contest with two coolly taken free-throws.
Deguara led with a game-high 24 points and 24 rebounds and simply proved too much for the Dragons to handle.
For the Dragons, Canadian Daniel Eves led with 18 points while Addy Tung Chee Keong and Kyle Toth both contributed 15 each.
In the third-placing playoff, Verve Club edged the PRG Eagles 78-71 despite playing with just one import — Daniel Camps. The American swingman finished with 30 points and 12 rebounds. Local hotshot Lee Chien Chung had 22 points.
In the Malaysia Women Basketball League (MWBL), Selangor Megainn stayed unbeaten by edging two-time winners Segamat BA 58-45 for their fourth straight win.
In other matches, Supersports BC earned their second straight win by thrashing Kulai BA 75-51 while defending champions KL Binapuri whipped Jinjang MKYC 69-40.