Viet Nam News
HÀ NỘI — Hanoi Buffaloes are expected to make more magic at the Thailand Basketball Super League at the semi-final match when they meet Mono Thew in Bangkok today.
The only Vietnamese team at the tournament last weekend blew away defending champions Hitech in the play-offs to earn their last-four round in their first international event.
Mono Thew lost once to the Buffaloes in the qualification but received appreciation from coach Todd Purves prior to the match.
Purves said his players were in a good mood. They were all confident for the semis. The Buffaloes would follow their style of defence and took full use all threatening attacks.
However, the 44-year-old said there would make some changes in tactics compared to the games against Hitech.
He wanted to keep his secret and asked supporters to see how players were going to perform.
Talking about Mono Thew, Purves said they were not easy rivals as they were the only team to beat all nine teams in this tournament this year.
Mono Thew were united and they had a great competitive spirit, according to Purves.
The American coach who is called Việt Nam’s Mourinho of basketball said in the semi-finals, all teams were strong so none could lose their attention.
Purves appreciated Mono Thew’s accurate three-point shots which helped them increase their score quickly, especially when they played at be the Stadium 29, their home venue.
Statistics showed that Mono Thew made an average of 14 three-point shots per match.
The player to watch will be Zamar Christian who were successful with five out of eight shots to the Buffaloes’ basket in their first meet this season.
However Purves has Matthew Van Pelt to block Christian.
In their second meet on March 4, Van Pelt did a good job to prevent Christian from scoring. In that match the Buffaloes won 84-76.
As usual, the Buffaloes travelled and stayed in Bangkok for two days and two games in a row.
However, after the play-offs, the coaching board decided they would stay in the city to save energy and focus on training better.
Going into this game, Purves said despite a difficult match his team still had chances to win if the ‘buffaloes’ could stay focussed and try their best as they did to grab eight wins in 12 matches since February.
The second leg match will be in the next day. The third one, if it is needed will be three days later. — VNS