VBA 2024: The city is red, Saigon Heat win the derby

June 30, 2024 - 08:25

VBA 2024: The city is red, Saigon Heat win the derby

Elijah Weaver's speed and three pointers help the defending champions win the derby against Ho Chi Minh City Wings. Photo courtesy of VBA

By Xuân Đăng

HCM CITY - Without big man Nguyễn Huỳnh Phú Vinh in the starting-five due to injury, the Heat still got a win in the derby against Ho Chi Minh City Wings.

This was Heat's first match on their home court - CIS Gymnasium in District 7.

Both team entered the match with high speed in attacks. While the City Wings preferred quick counterattacks, the Heat showed their comprehensiveness at both ends of the the courts and an outstanding performance at the three-pointer line.

Thanks to a better shooting performance, the home team took the lead 22-12, after the first quarter

In the second quarter, Khoa Trần, former point guard of the Heat, who is playing for the City Wings, tried to help the guests narrow the gap by increasing the tempo with steals and fast- break plays. 

However, the home team players played a good defence and had seven- three pointers, half of which came from new import  - Elijah Weaver - and protected the double-digit gap of 51-38.

In the third quarter, the City Wings continued to try to catch up. Coach Lee Tao Dana put his trust on young player Tim De Kok, who unexpectedly had some crucial points and rebounds. The guests narrowed the gap to 59-68

The last quarter, captain Tim Waale and Nguyễn Phúc Vinh of the home team were out due to committing five personal fouls. 

Taking advantage of this opportunity, Khoa Tran shone to narrow the gap to only four points, 82-86. However, the remaining 30 seconds were not enough for the away team to tie the score.

In an emphatic win, the defending champions won their third consecutive victory with a score of 89-82.

Elijah Weaver, was named as the the Player of the Game with 37 points, 13 rebounds and a three-point shooting efficiency of 53 per cent (7/13).

“As a new player in the team, I feel that the home fans of Saigon Heat were wonderful in their support. In this match, although we had many difficulties in terms of personnel, the whole team still maintained a very high fighting spirit. When one person steps down, another will be ready to stand up,” Elijah Weaver said.

The defending champions will face Hanoi Buffaloes tonight (June 30) at CIS, in what is forecast to be an outstanding match, with both teams showing great performances since the beginning of the season.

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