|Saigon Heat vs Westports Malaysia Dragons. — Photo zing.vn|Viet Nam News
HÀ NỘI — Việt Nam’s Saigon Heat lost to defending champions Westports Malaysia Dragons 94-81 at the ASEAN Basketball League at the CIS Arena in HCM City on Saturday.
Playing without focus, the Heat was behind 31-16 in the first half. The team still did not create many opportunities to score and were defeated 50-34 in the second half.
In the third set, head coach Christopher Thomas was removed because he reacted excessively with a referee. Taking full advantage of the Dragons’ embarrassment, Việt Arnold and Moses Morgan scored points to help the Heat narrow the gap to 64-57.
In the last set, Việt Nam played attack continuously, but were still defeated 94-81.
With this result, the Heat still ranked fourth, with 6-10 card in the team standings. They will be back on the road on Wednesday, playing against the league-leading Hong Kong Eastern Long Lions. The Heat need wins to assure themselves the fourth and final playoff berth, at the minimum.
“I don’t really understand why the rest of our players didn’t play harder. There’s no excuse at all. It was an embarrassment. We had some bad performances this year, but this one, this one was terrible,” a frustrated Heat head coach Tony Garbelotto said.
The Dragons stood at the bottom, with a 5-13 card, and will have to sweep their two remaining games against the Kaohsiung Truth (5-11) on March 18 (home) and March 25 (away) to have a chance at playing in the post-season. — VNS