KAOHSIUNG – Westports Malaysia Dragons started off with a slow start to crush Kaohsiung Truth at their home court. Kiwi Gardner and Joshua Munzon both had a collective score of 75 points, winning the away team the game, 114-108.

The first half -of the match was a slow one as both teams had plenty of turnovers and miss-fires. Dragons however pulled away before the break, gaining an unstoppable momentum which stayed on until to the final buzzer.

Dragons made a run with the ball in the 3rd quarter with a 18 point lead. This however was not their biggest lead as they brought their scoring momentum to the 4th quarter, earning them the biggest gap when Munzon potted a three-point for a 24 point lead.

“We played the game the right way, we controlled the pace and tempo of the game and that’s really how we won,” express Coach Thomas. “I’m just so proud of these guys.”

The Malaysian team had an all-star team as Gardner hit 40 points and 8 assists while Munzon got 35 points and 8 rebounds.

“I’m not much of a stats guy, but I felt like I had my groove on tonight, the rhythm was there,” said Kiwi Gardner. “I’ll continue working on my game to maintain my composure during of the off-season to come out stronger the next time.”

Skylar Spencer had his usual double-double with 12 points and 12 assists.

Shot-blocking Highlight

Ting Chun Hong made an amazing block shot when the clock had 30 seconds left to go, ruining the home team’s momentum as this was right after Hsin-Kai Wang from Truth made their last crucial 3 point shot which could have turned the game around. (114-108)

“Phenomenal block shot, he saved the game tonight with that block.” said Coach Chris, which then Assistant head Coach Goh said “That was tonight’s game highlight, that beautiful block from him.”

Playoffs

Despite winning the game, Dragons and Kaohsiung Truth both did not qualify for the playoffs this season being the bottom two teams.

“Obviously there’s some bitter sweet feeling after tonight, but I would challenge anybody to call our season a failure, our season was far from it,” said Coach Thomas. “Our guys stepped up to the plate and improve despite facing so many challenges in front of us.”

“That’s what this season is all about, our young local kids learning how to be professionals. It’s a long process but they’ve picked it up. We really look like a different basketball team since we got Kiwi and Josh. They grasped the team concept, embraced and worked with the team.”
Coach Thomas told his team before flying off to Taiwan on Friday. “Even when the playoffs are out of our reach, to still be professional and take an approach of conquering another challenge in front of us is playing the game the right way.”

Dragons will be coming back stronger next season. Thank you all for following us all through this 2016-2017 Asean Basketball League season.

Written by: Benjamin Lim