Viet Nam News
HÀ NỘI — Newcomer Thang Long Warriors secured their second win at the Việt Nam Basketball Association League, beating hosts HCM City Wings 79-71 on Tuesday at the Hồ Xuân Hương Gymnasium.
Playing without pressure, the Warriors were confident from the start of the game and finished the first quarter 17-12, a huge surprise for many local supporters.
Despite strong support and home advantage, the Wings, last season’s runners-up, found it hard to break through the Warriors’ defence.
While the visitors increased their score to 37 in the second quarter, the Wings could only reach 21, with just Bilal Richardson doing the job for his team.
Triệu Hán Minh and Henry Nguyễn lifted the hopes of the Wings with consecutive three-point throws in the third quarters, but the Warriors’ Tô Quang Trung did even better. He was the key scorer, helping his team end the quarter 55-41.
The Wings strongly fought back in the last quarter, but their attempts did not bear fruit.
Meanwhile, in their first match, Hanoian club Warriors beat defending champion Danang Dragons 96-65, before losing 78-86 to Saigon Heat last week.
They continue to lead the ranking table with five points after three matches.
In the next fixture, Cantho Catfish will host the Dragons on Thursday.
Most valuable player of the week Tâm Đinh is expected to maintain his peak form, which he displayed during the two matches against Hanoi Buffaloes last week.
Starting the new season with a series of losses at the pre-season event, Cantho Catfish are improving with each game. They were defeated 83-86 in the first match on home soil but came back with a persuasive 79-71 victory to beat the same rivals on away ground just three days later.
Apart from Đinh, Catfish’s De Angelo Hamilton, Lê Hiếu Thành and Dư Minh An are in impressive form.
The Dragons, however, do not appear ready. They lost their first two matches with key player Stefan Nguyễn sidelined because of injury. He has been advised rest for at least three weeks, meaning he will also miss Thursday’s match. His team are currently at the bottom of the ranking table.
The Dragons will play their second match of the week on Sunday on home turf of the Military Zone 5 Gymnasium when they meet the Warriors again.
On Saturday, the Buffaloes will welcome the Wings at the Bách Khoa Gymnasium.
The Wings will have three days to recharge after yesterday’s defeat. Richardson continues to be an important scorer for his team, like he was on Tuesday, while Hán Minh and Henry need to exhibit their talent.
Buffaloes made many mistakes in defence during their second match loss to Catfish. Their foreign player Jordan Collins has not met expectations, not performing well for the home side, especially at the half circle and during attacks.
On the same day, the Heat will face the Catfish at the Canadian International School Arena.
The hosts are in a good mood following their win over the Warriors. They also have one week of rest ahead of this match. In the pre-season game, they had defeated the Catfish. — VNS