KUALA LUMPUR – One second left on the clock was all Westports Malaysia Dragons had to break the tie 82-82 against Saigon Heat.

Seconds before that, Murphy Burnatowski of the Heat evened the score with his 3-point shot that ran the clock down to its final second.

With not much time left, Head Coach Jamie called his last time-out of the game to draw out the one-second play which gave Shepard the opportunity to score.

The way that play planned out was exactly what I was hoping for,” said Coach Jamie. “[I
‘m] really happy obviously because when you draw up these plays, you think you know what you’re going to get and [tonight] it was successful!

On the last play which won the game, Shepard was focused on making sure he had space to receive the pass from Nnanna.

Really I was trying to make them think I was doing something other than what we had planned. I tried to get a good screen to make them (Saigon) think we were going for a shot, on top of that, Nnanna threw a really good pass.

Last quarter breakdown.

Both teams seemed to be on par with each other throughout the game until the second half started, when the Dragonforce had to make some line-up changes to allow their center, Nnanna Egwu some bench time.

In that quarter, the team had a mismatch of size which gave the Heat an advantage of height, allowing them to finish with a 11-point lead that 3rd quarter.

Starting with a double-digit point gap, they needed to buy time and it worked the way they wanted to, the team engaged in a great defensive zone which worked well the last time they fought Saigon Heat.

Coach Jamie proudly stated, “That got us back into the game, the team’s resilience and how they executed the zone defensively bought us some time to bring back Nnanna back into the game; Nnanna’s offensive rebound and put back was massive for us.”

Their resilience, how they kept on believing and taking one step at a time. It’s one play after one play and that’s a big focus of ours, it doesn’t matter what just happened, it’s what we have to do next to get the lead back and under control.

Team Captain Chris Eversley and Winston Shepard were the two top scorers of the game with full 40 minutes of game time.

Eversley had 25 points, 6 rebounds, 4 assists, 4 steals and 2 blocks. Shepard on the other hand had 22 points, 17 rebounds, and 6 assists.

NEXT GAME

Dragons will be playing Hong Kong Eastern Long Lions this Sunday (6th January) at 2:30PM at MABA Stadium, Kuala Lumpur

So far, the team is at 2-2 win/loss ratio in the standings, taking up the 7th place, just after this Sunday’s opponents from Hong Kong whom are 4-4 as of writing.