A GREAT COMEBACK: Dominique Grant (white shirt) is one of a key factors for a great comeback of Đà Nẵng Dragon. The team has four consecutive victories to keep their chance to play in the play-off alive. Photo courtesy of VBA
HCM CITY — The Đà Nẵng Dragons have bounced back from a rough start to the regular season of Vietnam Basketball Association (VBA) to win their last four games in a row.
With six consecutive defeats at the beginning of the season, the Dragons had almost no chance to play in the playoffs. However, the efforts of the players as well as the changes in playing style made by the coaching staff led the Dragons to key victories to open up the opportunity to compete in the playoffs.
After the first six defeats, the team made a bold and risky decision to end the contract with the team's centre Kenneth Simms and replace him with point guard Dominique Grant.
Experts considered this a risky decision because the team would have no foreign player at center. This would be considered a disadvantage for the team when their opponents all have a foreign center more than two metres tall.
But reality has proved the opposite, as the Dragons have been able to implement a small-ball playing style that has created a challenge for competitors.
The team has played incredibly thanks to the support of the home fans, leading to four consecutive victories, including three important victories against direct rivals for a play-off spot, the Thăng Long Warriors and Nha Trang Dolphins.
Dominique Grant in his first professional competition has surprised opponents. With hustling playing style as well as clutch shots, Dom has brought important scoring to the team.
In addition, the timely plays by overseas Vietnamese player Michael Soy and foreign player Edward Horton helped the Dragons get key wins.
The team is ranked fifth with four wins after 10 matches. The Dragons will play the last two games of the regular season against the Nha Trang Dolphins and the Hà Nội Buffaloes, who are ranked third and fourth in the standings.
The team needs to win these two games and hope both will lose against strong opponents such as the Saigon Heat and Hồ Chí Minh City Wings.
The VBA's regular season will continue until August 17, when the top four teams will play in the playoffs to get a chance to win the championship. — VNS