Viet Nam News
HÀ NỘI — Hanoi Buffaloes struggled to beat hosts Cantho Catfish in the second match of the Việt Nam Basketball Association League on Thursday in Cần Thơ City.
Playing on the home turf and the return of Vietnamese Tâm Đinh gave the Catfish a fair chance with the Buffaloes.
The match’s highlights were Đinh and Jordan Collins from the visiting side. While Đinh scored 29 points with eight rebounds, Collins performed even better with 25 points and 12 rebounds.
The Catfish made a good start with a three-point throw by Lê Hiếu Thành in the 18th second of the first quarter. However, the Buffaloes were not an easy rival. They quickly narrowed the scored and balanced the situation, with special credit going to their superb substitute Nguyễn Phú Hoàng, who played a key role in helping the Buffaloes finish the first quarter at 20-18.
In the second quarter, Tấn Dũng and Đinh scored several points for the Catfish, as did the Buffaloes’ Collins and Nguyễn Tiến Dương. A three-point throw by Đinh Tiến Công near the end helped the Buffaloes end the second quarter at 36-35.
Đinh showed his tremendous skills in the third quarter, helping the Catfish gain a lead at 59-54.
The Buffaloes displayed their best performance in the last quarter, when both Collins and Dương bagged three-point throws, creating a strong lead before Đinh and Thành levelled it, also through successful three-point throws. Angelo Hamilton wasted a chance to close the match with a win for the Catfish after missing both penalty shootouts in the last seconds.
The match was decided through free throws in which the Buffaloes did a better job and secured an 86-83 win.
This is the Buffaloes’ second victory over the Catfish in the past two weeks. Earlier, they won 65-58 in the pre-season tournament in Hà Nội.
In the next fixture this Saturday, defending champions Danang Dragons will play HCM City Wings. It is the Dragons’ second match after their 65-96 loss to Thang Long Warriors on Tuesday, and the Wings’ first.
The Dragons will be playing without their key player Stefan Nguyễn Tuấn Tú as he has a back injury, which will prevent him from playing in the first three weeks of the season.
Meanwhile, the Wings’ defender Ngô Tuấn Trung also cannot play because of the ban after he swore at the referees last season.
On Saturday, the Warriors will play their second match against Saigon Heat on away ground at the CIS Arena. While the Warriors are the new face of the tournament, the Heat are the first national professional basketball team to have competed in regional tournaments for many years. — VNS