Westports Malaysia Dragons making a great comeback in their maiden game of the new Asean Basketball League (ABL) season this year defeating Mono Vampire by four points, 112-116 in a double overtime game.

It was nonetheless a nail-biting game to watch and the gritty Dragons bulldozed the home team for a sweet victory.

Malaysia Dragons’ world import Marcus Marshall broke the ABL history with his debut game, leading the team with a 60-point maiden match in the league.

Alongside Marshall, fellow comrades Ivan Yeo and Teo Kok Hou powered the scores with 14 and 9 points respectively.

Dragons did not make it seem easy for the home team right from the start of the game and scoring five points in the run from Patrick Cabahug and Reil Cervantes, 5-0. Both teams were at neck-to-neck from the midway of the first quarter 12-12 right towards the end of the quarter.

Although early gameplay was a little difficult for the Dragons but the Malaysian team was doing a decent job to keep Vampire at the bay.

Ratdech Kruatiwa (Vampire) bagged his third three-point in the final minute to extend their lead to a near double-digit game followed by another two penalty shots by Chitchai Ananti, 29-21.

Marcus Marshall did not back down and closed the first quarter for the Dragons with 12 points. Dragons trailed behind Mono Vampire by six points, 29-23 in the first quarter.

Barely two minutes into the second quarter, the Dragons paced up the game and bites back at Vampire to tie at 29-29 when home-boy Ivan Yeo bagged his first basket followed by another four points by Marcus Marshall.

Penetration after penetration by Mono paid off well as the game closing towards the first half when Patrick Sanders bagged two layups in the run, extending Mono’s lead further to 5-point lead, 42-37. Mono Vampire closed the end of the second quarter leading Dragons by 7 points, 46-36.

Swinging it around back in the hands of the Dragons, Teo Kok Hou made several good runs at the start of third quarter including a steal from Reggie Johnson and opened up the causeway for the team. Dragons were still trying to close the deficit up as Kok Hou hit two successive three-points for a one point play, 51-50 by the mid of the quarter.

Dragons back up in the game and a fantastic end of the third quarter as Reil Cervantes stashed a reverse layup for a two-point lead ahead of the home team, 58-60.

In the fourth period, both teams were back tying up the game at 66-66 and later 68-68 till to the midway of the quarter. Dragons’ Ting Chun Hong taking four points straight challenging Mono from the lead and at the same time, the home team was making careful calculations as Reggie Johnson (Vampire) had already booked four fouls thus far.

Clock ticked down to the last four minutes of the game and Marcus Marshall showed his prowess in the court and took another three-point from downtown for Dragons, raking the lead by four points, 69-73.

Darunpong Apiromvillaichai (Vampire) stayed closely to Marshall, trying to limit his shots in the court while in the final three minutes of the game, Kuek Tian Yuan booked his fifth foul and called out from the game.

Right after Patrick Sanders (Vampire) hitting a three from downtown, a quick pocket pass by Teo Kok Hou to Ivan Yeo tied the game again at 78-78 in the final minute of the game.

Marshall regained the lead for the Dragons again in his two free throws and Johnson tied the game again at 80-80 from his layup. Sanders mistake in a turnover was a sigh of relief for the Dragons but forced to the overtime when Marshall missed his three-point shot.

Pushing into the overtime, Dragons were facing an uphill task as Reil Cervantes booked his fifth foul and Marshall was still taking the lead in the court to tie the game at 86-86.

Dragons reclaimed the lead again after getting a foul-in, bringing in a three points score by Marshall. Gritty Dragons dragged the game further ahead towards the end of the first OT at a tie again 95-95.

In the second overtime period, Mono tried to reclaim the lead in a neck-to-neck game with the Dragons but their bid to limit Marshall and Ivan Yeo were futile. The Dragons rummaged across the court and dominated the basket, a good control and time-play defence proved to be on the right track.

Westports Malaysia Dragons will be playing against Chong Son Kung Fu on November 29th at 8.30PM MABA Stadium Kuala Lumpur.

By Norman Goh

Statistics

Westports Malaysia Dragons:
Marcus Marshall (60 points, 9 rebounds, 3 assists)
Ivan Yeo (14 points, 7 rebounds, 2 blocks)
Teo Kok Hou (9 points, 5 assists, 2 steals)
Reil Cervantes (8 points, 4 rebounds, 2 steals)
Loh Shee Fai (7 points, 3 rebounds)
Patrick Cabahug (7 points, 9 rebounds)

Mono Vampire:
Reginald Johnson (35 points, 16 rebounds, 3 assists, 2 blocks)
Patrick Sanders (21 points, 17 rebounds, 3 blocks, 2 assists)
Paul Zamar (14 points, 5 rebounds, 4 assists)