KUALA LUMPUR – Westports Malaysia Dragons lost their second game to United Arab Emirates’ (UAE) Al-Ahli by 12 points in the 2016 FIBA Asia Champions Cup in Chenzhou, China as the team continues to be underpowered, with only six players making the game day team.

Despite their disadvantage, the Malaysian Dragons were able to keep up with their opponents up until the last quarter, while Skylar Spencer, being the defensive superstar manage to dominate in the paint with his size and power.

During the first half, Dragons played defensively well under the basket having 26 defensive rebounds, however they lost out with bad passes and ball handling, allowing the Knights to gain points from 20 turnovers.

Both teams were head-to-head by the end of the second quarter at 38 each.

The Emirati team took the lead in the 3rd quarter by scoring four 3-pointers halfway through the quarter (two by Samuel D. Young III and another two by Saeed Alajmani), giving them a 6 point lead from the Dragons at 44-50.

They then pulled away towards at end of the quarter as the Malaysian bench lacked depth to rotate players, finishing with 7 points ahead of the Malaysians at 52-59.

Joel Wright finally made his moves during the fourth quarter scoring 12 points, making him the top scorer for his team with 21 points, while Spencer followed suit with 16 points.

However, Al-Ahli had a 10-point advantage from the start of the quarter when Khalifa Salem shot a 3-pointer within 20 seconds of the game. They held on to the lead right through the end despite huge efforts from Joel Wright to close the point gap.

Both import players from Dragons used their height to their advantage and finished the game with Spencer having 21 rebounds while Wright had 16 rebounds, amounting up to 37 out of 57 total rebounds made by their team.

Captain Ma Chee Kheun and Choo Wei Hong from Dragons both played an average of 37 minutes to compensate their lack of manpower and scored 14 points each.

With the end of this match, Al-Ahli leads in points in Group B with 2 wins and 1 loss, while Westports Malaysia Dragons is placed fourth with 2 losses.

Dragons will be taking on Barsy Atyrau the next day (11th October 2016) at 8 p.m. local time in the Chenzhou Olympic Sports Centre Gymnasium.

Barsy Atyrau is a professional Kazakhstani basketball club based in Atyrau, a city in western Kazakhstan.

Founded in 2003, they have won two titles in the Kazakhstan Basketball Championships, one in 2011 and another this year, 2016.

Barsy Atyrau also lost their first match against Al-Ahli (68-105) and will be playing against China’s Xinjiang Flying Tigers later this evening.