A fiery duel between the two old rivals, the heat turns up whenever the two meets in the ring.

A duel between Westports Malaysia Dragons and Saigon Heat last month saw the Malaysian team dousing off the heat and won their second consecutive game at home by four points, 91-87.

The tension did not stop when the buzzer blared at the end of the game, the unfortunate incident saw both coaches from the two teams slapped with a fine and suspension.

All that aside, Saigon Heat is still among the most formidable team in the franchise and the only team to have slayed the defending champion Hong Kong Eastern in two straight games, hence, they were dubbed as the ‘Giant Slayers’.

Dragons’ head coach Christopher Thomas did not hold back when asked to comment about the performance of his team against Hong Kong recently. Known for his bluntness, he mentioned that the team should have been the one making the blows to the opponents in the court rather than ‘getting punched in the mouth first’.

“The game on Sunday against Saigon is the single biggest game of our season. Even at 3-9, we hold the keys to our season in our hands because of the three head-to-head meetings, we still have with Saigon Heat, the one game with CLS Knights, and the another game in Taiwan against Formosa Dreamers.

“We need to play with energy and effort for 40 whole minutes on Sunday. It’s really that simple! If we play hard, smart, and together we can make Sunday a special afternoon in front of our home fans,” said Thomas.

Without Loh Shee Fai and Ma Chee Kheun in the team at the moment, Dragons signed up Chin Zhi Shin, Malaysian national team player to the roster. The 31 year old cager is no stranger in the local basketball tournaments including his recent stint with the national team in SEA Games 2017.

Chin began his journey dabbling in basketball since 13 years old and throughout his secondary school career, he was enlisted in the national junior team at 17 years old.

The Johor-born cager’s basketball career in a span of 18 years have shown much of his experience among his peers and this is also his first entry in the Asean Basketball League.

“I was very excited when coach Chris Thomas and assistant manager Shoghi Gan messaged to me if I could join the team. I will give all my best during training and if I have the chance to play in the court, I will give it all,” said Chin.

“I love, trust, and believe in every kid on my roster. None of them were born to be average…they need to ride to the occasion on Sunday and be bullies instead of getting bullied! If we play to the level I expect, we will be special and a fun team to watch on Sunday and beyond,” Dragons’ head coach said.

Westports Malaysia Dragons will be up against Saigon Heat on February 11 (Sunday) at 2.30PM, MABA Stadium Kuala Lumpur.