Viet Nam News
HÀ NỘI — Revenge was the dish of the day on Saturday, as the Cantho Catfish defeated the Thang Long Warriors in the opening match of the Việt Nam Basketball Association (VBA) League.
The capital side had beaten the Catfish to take the title last season, and the Mekong delta side went some way to avenging that defeat with a win at Hà Nội’s University of Education Gymnasium.
The Warriors came out of the blocks fast, surging to a 26-11 lead after the first quarter, with Tô Quang Trung pouring in 7 points.
The capital side went into the half with a comfortable lead at 46-34, and it seemed like history was about to repeated itself.
The third period though, belonged to the Catfish and coach Kevin Yurkus, thanks to a 29 point quarter and a long-range buzzer-beater three from Nguyễn Phú Hoàng, giving the visitors a 63-58 lead.
As the fourth quarter wound down, the Catfish held a slim 77-74 lead and survived two desperation three-point attempts from Thăng Long to leave Hà Nội with a win.
DeAngelo Hamilton of the Catfish deservedly took MVP honours after dominating in the paint with 23 points, 15 rebounds and 5 blocks. Tâm Đinh also contributed 18 points and 8 rebounds for the visitors.
Thăng Long were led by Jaywuan Hill with 14 points and 10 rebounds and Tô Quang Trung with 21 points and 5 steals.
The Cantho Catfish will next face Saigon Heat on June 28 while the Thang Long Warriors will hope to rebound against Danang Dragons on June 23.
In another match, Saigon Heat defated city rivals HCM City Wings 86-77.
Trần Đăng Khoa, Triệu Hán Minh and Dư Minh An contributed 15 early points for the Heat, helping them lead 17-11 after the first.
In the second stanza, Quinton Doggett and Henry Nguyễn battled to even the score for the Wings with 13 points, though they were unable to prevent their side from trailing 39-31 at the break.
In the third quarter, Doggett and Lê Công Tuấn Anh led the HCM City Wings to a slender 58-56 lead.
However, thanks to five three-point plays in the final period, the Heat won the day 86-77.
In the next match, Saigon Heat will meet Hanoi Buffaloes on June 19 at Hà Nội University of Science and Technology’s Gymnasium, while HCM City Wings will face Danang Dragons at Hồ Xuân Hương Gymnasium. — VNS