Hanoi Buffaloes secure playoff berth after win over Cantho Catfish

August 13, 2023 - 16:52
The Buffaloes came back strongly after a shock defeat to Thang Long Warriors five days ago, also on home ground at Hoàng Mai District Gymnasium.


Anthony January jumps to score for Hanoi Buffaloes during the VBA match between the Buffaloes and Cantho Catfish. The Buffaloes win 95-81. Photos courtesy of VBA

HÀ NỘI — Hanoi Buffaloes returned to winning ways after beating Cantho Catfish 95-81 in the VBA's 47th match on August 12 in Hà Nội.

The Buffaloes came back strongly after a shock defeat to Thang Long Warriors five days ago, also on home ground at Hoàng Mai District Gymnasium.

Playing without local star Đinh Tiến Công, who was suspended due to his unsportsmanlike conduct in the previous match, and point hunter Anthony January in the starting line-up, was not a problem for the hosts.

They went ahead and led 6-2 three minutes into the match. January was then on the court to improve the Buffaloes' forward line. He proved why he has earned most Player of the Game awards with six points in a row and three blocks. 

January's outstanding performance in both attack and defence helped the hosts close the first quarter at 23-17.

The Catfish came back strong at the start of the second quarter. Michael Soy scored two three-pointers in a row to narrow the gap to 27-25.

But young players Tô Ngọc Khánh and Nguyễn Huy Hoàng pushed the Buffaloes up, creating a larger gap to 41-31 in the sixth minute of Q2. 

Despite the Catfish's resistance, they suffered more pressure and could only narrow the score at 52-45 before halftime.

The visitors tried to slow down the pace in the third quarter. Their great effort, especially by Brachon Griffin, brought sweet results as the score was level at 56-56.

But Tâm Đinh and Udun Osakue did not let them enjoy the moment too long. The duo broke the Catfish's defence into pieces with a crazy run of 18 points. It was 74-60 for the hosts under the wild cheering of the home supporters.

Two minutes into the last quarter, the Buffaloes made it 80-60 and set up a strong defence against the Catfish's rise. 

One minute to the end, it was still a 15-point gap at 91-76. It was not enough time for the Catfish to change the situation. They suffered a 95-81 loss.

Brachon Griffin of the Catfish tries to pass Anthony January of the Buffaloes during their match on August 12 in Hà Nội.

January took one more Player of the Game award with 29 points and 20 rebounds.

The win brought the Buffaloes the first ticket to the playoffs and ensured their top four this season.

“I can't reveal Erik Rashad's plan when he let me in from the bench. I am happy as the Hanoi Buffaloes advance to the playoffs," said January.

"I understand my role and hope my team unite together, we will do our best to win no matter who the next opponent is.”

In the last match, the Buffaloes will visit Danang Dragons who have lost all matches this season at the Sơn Trà Gymnasium on August 15.

Meanwhile, the Catfish maintained sixth place after four wins and 10 defeats. They also play the Dragons next at home in Cần Thơ Gymnasium on August 18. VNS