Negri cagers outmuscle Sabah to show intent to land third title

CYBERJAYA: Negri Sembilan (NS) flexed their muscles as they stepped up their bid for a third consecutive men’s title in the Agong Cup National Basketball Championships.

Powered by several internationals and American-born Perry Lim, Negri were simply unstoppable as they crushed Sabah 129-54 at the Gem In Mall here yesterday.

Negri, who never hit top gear in their opening 80-65 win over Sarawak on Tuesday, started nervously and could only lead 29-21 in the first quarter.

But they stepped up their offensive prowess to take a commanding 61-30 half-time lead before finishing strongly for a huge 75-point win.

Gan Hong Hoong stole the show for Negri, coming off the bench for 29 points, including seven three pointers.

Four others – Ting Chun Hong (22 points), Ivan Yeo, Perry (16) and Wong Yi Hou (15) – also managed double figures.

“We didn’t have a good build-up to this tournament. But we’re finding our rhythm and, hopefully, hit top form by the time we get to the final,” said Negri head coach Brian Lester.

Meanwhile, Ma Chee Kheun inspired 2013 and 2014 champions Melaka to a 79-70 win over 2012 winners Police.

Chee Kheun finished with 18 points while Choo Wei Hong and captain Chee Li Wei had 12 points each.

In the women’s event, Kuala Lumpur held off Johor 56-54 for their first win.

The city side, who narrowly lost 62-63 to Selangor, were led by Yap Fook Yee with 13 points while Eugene Ting finished with 10 points and 12 rebounds.

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