|Saigon Heat receive a 79-94 defeat to Chong Son Kung Fu at the ABL on Wednesday. — Photo VBA|
HÀ NỘI — Saigon Heat failed to get past Chong Son Kung Fu for the second time this season after losing 79-94 in their ASEAN Basketball League (ABL) match on Wednesday in China.
On their home turf, Chong Son Kung Fu came from behind to avenge their first loss of the season, as they inched closer to league leaders Hong Kong Eastern Basketball team in the standings.
The visitors scuttled ahead with a three-point throw by Việt Anold. His teammate Maxie Esho then led the charge for the Heat in the first quarter, which saw them take a 24-18 lead.
The Heat continued in the second quarter with high tempo, and were even able to extend their lead to nine points on several occasions.
However, Mikh McKinney and Caelan Tiongson were perfect on the floor, as they took turns to score points for the hosts, while their defenders blocked attacks from the visiting side. They grabbed a 44-38 advantage heading into the break.
Esho and captain Akeem Scott shone in the first minutes of the third quarter, forcing Chong Son Kung Fu to work very hard to resist their attempts.
Esho individually scored 11 points to help the Heat reduce the deficit, and even take the lead at 52-51.
However, Kung Fu had an answer to the rally, as Luo Yongxuan heated up from the deep later in the third quarter with two triples. For the second straight time, it was McKinney who finished the quarter with a three for Kung Fu, as they led 70-60 heading into the final quarter.
Quiet from the field throughout the game, Antony Tucker exploded in the fourth quarter for Chong Son Kung Fu, as he scored the majority of his points to help his team take the victory, strengthening their second position in the table.
The Heat, placed at No 6, will have a three-day rest before their counter match against Westports Malaysia Dragons on February 11, while Chong Son Kung Fu will entertain CLS Knights Indonesia on February 8. — VNS