|J. Hill performs a slam dunk with a second left in the third period to push his team ahead 46-45. — Photo courtesy of VBA|Viet Nam News
HÀ NỘI — The Thang Long Warriors bested the Hanoi Buffaloes yesterday at the VBA derby.
The two rivals, both hailing from the country’s capital, did not disappoint some 1,500 fans who showed up to cheer for them at the Bach Khoa University Gymnasium. Both teams brought powerful offensive games and a strong competitive spirit.
The derby’s fast-paced and action-packed first period ended with the Dinos (Thang Long Warriors) on top with a seven-point lead over the home team, with the fan favorite duo of J. Hill and J. Young showing excellent performances in both offense and defense.
The Buffaloes bounced back strong in the second period after an adjustment made by Coach Todd Purves. Under heavy pressure from the Buffaloes’ nimble attacks, the Dinos were forced to commit numerous fouls. The Buffaloes did not let their free throws go to waste and they ended the second period with a three-point lead over the visitors.
The two sides maintained their offensive play in the third period. The Dinos proved they possessed a more well-rounded squad by alternating between breaking into their opponent’s zone and making long-throw plays. The math took a decisive turn after J. Hill delivered a slam dunk a second before the whistle to carry his team forward with a one-point lead.
The home team struggled to catch up with the visitors for most of the last period. J. Hill, in one of his most impressive performances so far this season, scored a total of 14 points to help his team defeat the Buffaloes 71-66.
With their triumph in the capital’s derby, the Dinos secured second place in the VBA ranking with four wins and one loss while the Buffaloes share third position with the Can Tho Catfish, both with two wins and two losses in this season.
This Sunday, the capital’s two teams will both travel south. The Dinos will play HCMC Wings and the Buffaloes will meet the Saigon Heat, who have not dropped a game since the start of the season. — VNS