Basketball: Bangkok City bounce back to bag second ABL title
- Updated: November 12, 2014
November 11, 2014: Hi-Tech Bangkok City were crowned the AirAsia ASEAN Basketball League champions on Tuesday night after beating the Westports Malaysia Dragons 73-67 at home in the second game of the best-of-three series.
With the league celebrating its fifth anniversary, Hi-Tech became the first team to lift the trophy twice, while Jerick Canada finished with 18 points at the Thai-Japanese Stadium in Bangkok and was chosen as the Most Valuable Player of the finals.
“This award is for all my teammates in Hi-Tech and also all my family in Cebu for always supporting,” said Canada. “We had a slow start in this game, but we stayed together and focused to turn things around.”
Patrick Cabahug came up with another clutch performance for Hi-Tech with a game-high 23 points, Chris Charles finished with 15 points and 19 rebounds, while Steven Thomas added 10 points and 11 rebounds.
Bouncing back from their 93-77 loss in Kuala Lumpur on Saturday, the Dragons flew out of the blocks in Bangkok, building a 16-4 lead after six minutes. Loh Shee Fai opened the game with back-to-back three-pointers and Justin Knox capped the run with a jumper from the free throw line.
Responding to the support of a packed crowd, Hi-Tech responded with an 11-4 burst to pull back to 20-15 at the end of the first quarter.
Moala Tautuaa helped Dragons pull away to 27-15 after completing his three-point play with 7:30 left in the second period. But Cabahug answered right away with a three-pointer to keep his team’s deficit in single digits and Dragons held a 38-32 lead at the half-time break.
Loh silenced the crowd with eight minutes left in the third quarter after burying a three-pointer to stretch their lead to 48-34, but the 14-point lead didn’t last long as Canada drilled a three to start a 16-2 run and tie the game at 50-50 with 2:30 until the final quarter.
In the final quarter, the momentum swung Hi-Tech’s way after Attaporn Lertmalaiporn splashed a corner three-pointer to tie the game at 62-62 with four minutes left, as the Hi-Tech fans rocked the stadium. The Dragons were unable to regroup, while Canada pushed the hosts’ lead to 66-62 with his layup and two free throws. Cabahug scored a basket with 20 seconds left to ensure Hi-Tech’s 2014 AirAsia ABL title.
Loh led the Dragons with 17 points, while Justin Knox finished with 14 points and 13 rebounds.
Q1 / Q2 / Q3 / Q4
Hi-Tech 15 / 17 / 22 / 19
Dragons 20 / 18 / 17 / 12
Hi-Tech Bangkok City: Cabahug – 23, Canada – 18, Charles – 15, Thomas – 10, Lertmalaiporn – 5, Ghogar – 2.
Westports Malaysia Dragons: Loh – 17, Knox – 14, Tautuaa -12, Scharer – 10, Eversley – 9, Ban Sin – 5.
Source: ASEAN Basketball League (www.aseanbasketballleague.com); Editing by SportAsia