VBA 2024: City Wings get first win

June 23, 2024 - 11:22
The City Wings got their first win of the season with the final score 99-95.
Star man Nguyễn Hoàng Tuấn helped the City Wings get their first win. Photo courtesy of VBA

HCM CITY - After defeat in the opening match against Saigon Heat, Nha Trang Dolphins sought their first win of the season against Hồ Chí Minh City Wings at Hồ Xuân Hương Gymnasium.

Coach Chris Daleo still assigned local players as point guards like the previous match, but the 60-year-old made one notable change adding the VBA 2023 rookie of the year - Nguyễn Hoàng Phúc to the starting lineup.

For City Wings, young shooter Nguyễn Hoàng Tuấn was promoted to starting lineup after an excellent performance in the previous match against the Buffaloes.

In the first quarter, taking advantage of the three forwards who were all over two metres tall including Dominique Tham, the Dolphins dominated the basket area.

In response, coach Lee Tao Dana of the City Wings told his players to counterattack quickly as soon as they had the ball, and also shoot more from the three-pointer line.

Youngster Hoàng Tuấn successfully executed 5/6 three-point shots at corner in the first quarter. However, the City Wings were still held back 31-35.

In the second quarter, thanks to the support from the bench, the guest got the upper hand.

Despite being penned back, coach Lee Tao Dana's team still persistently threatened and unexpectedly drew level thanks to the brilliance of Phạm Hiền Tài.

In the last five seconds of the half, from a full-court attack, Shon Briggs received the ball from Khoa Trần and made a buzzer beater to help the home team take the lead 63-62 before the break.

For most of the third quarter, the two teams played neck and neck. In the last three minutes, effective defence and sharp counterattacks helped the City Wings take the lead.

Maurice Gordon made an accurate three-point shot at a 45-degree angle, the City Wings increase the gap to a double-digit of 88-77.

Within two minutes to go in the last quarter, the guests fell into a difficult situation when Mykal Jenkins was fouled out after five personal fouls. Without the key player, the beach city team could not regain the lead.

The City Wings got their first win of the season with the final score 99-95.

Nguyễn Hoàng Tuấn won the Player of the Game with 23 points and five assists, this is the second time that a local player has won the award.

He said: “This victory was largely due to the right direction of the coach. He directed the team to defend better in the second half of the match.

"In addition, connection of the team members was very good. Everyone supports each other, even though everyone comes from many places." VNS