Viet Nam News
HÀ NỘI — The first national professional basketball league (VBA) is nearing the end of its season, as the first champion will be selected after a three-leg final.
Either HCM City Wings or Danang Dragons can take the title, as both teams won their berths during the dramatic semi-finals last week.
The Dragons, who could only enter the play-offs after winning a wildcard match against Cantho Catfish, created a stir when they eliminated top title candidate Saigon Heat in both legs of the round.
Earlier, the Heat won three of four meets against the Dragons in the qualification rounds.
However, coach Donte Hill found a way to bring the Heat down to the earth.
Some days later, HCM City Wings came from behind to defeat Hanoi Buffaloes when both teams needed to win the third leg match in the play-offs.
The Buffaloes took the lead during the first match on away ground. The Wings, however, leveled the results two days later in Hà Nội. In the third match, when many expected a win for the Buffaloes, the Wings came back strong and grabbed their win in the final seconds.
In statistics, the Wings have a better chance, as they won all four meets against the Dragons on either home turf or away fields during the qualifier.
In their latest game on October 16, the Wings successfully set up a record score to win 104-86. They are the first team to score 100 points in the league.
Another advantage for the Wings was due to their home fans in the first match today.
After the Heat’s loss, many of their fans turned to support the Wings, with the hope that the representative of HCM City would bring home a trophy.
However, it proved not easy to bully the Dragons, who were in the bottom place before sending the Heat home.
They showed their good local players, including Jimmy Kien and Đàm huy Đại, and quality foreigners such as Joly Rudolphe. Further, coach Hill displayed excellence in his tactics, which helped his team win the wildcard and then the play-offs.
It is no doubt that their fans will again fly from Đà Nẵng to HCM City, as they did in the play-offs.
“The Danang Dragons upset the Saigon Heat. So we have to gear up and prepare for them. It’s going to be a good game,” said Jaywuan Hill of the Wings
“We did a really good job to get that far, but it was not over. We scored one more goal and need to win two more games,” said Justin Young, referring to the final matches.
“We will stick with the games and I think we have a chance of beating Danang as we have done before. Danang is not an easy opponent and we have to go all out. Hopefully we can bring back the championship to HCM City,” he said, calling supporters to come today so the team might deliver the trophy to them.
The first final match will begin at 6.30pm today at the Hồ Xuân Hương Gymnasium and will be live aired on VTV6 and HTV Thể Thao channels and the VBA’s Youtube.com/VBAOfficial. — VNS