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Game Preview: Hong Kong Eastern Long Lions versus Westports Malaysia Dragons

The Dragons continue on their extended road trip, as they take on the number two seeded team in the ASEAN Basketball League, the Hong Kong Eastern Long Lions in the Southorn Stadium. 

Game time is set at 8:00 PM, local time.

Curiously, both teams are looking to bounce back from losses against the Singapore Slingers. After 20 days of inactivity, the Hong Kong Eastern Long Lions resume ABL action, as they try to bounce back from their first defeat of the season last December 22 against the Slingers.

The Dragons were frustrated by the Slingers in home and away games, unfortunately losing this year’s Straits Cup series to their rivals. They will have to pick up the pieces quick and try to defeat one of the top teams in the ABL.

The Long Lions will continue to lean on their talented import Marcus Elliott to lead the way. Despite the loss to Singapore and with Xavier Alexander draped all over him, Elliott was still his usual excellent self, finishing with a well-rounded stat line of 24 points, 6 rebounds and 3 assists. 

Hong Kong also got a lift with the return of Tyler Lamb after a one-game absence due to a hand injury. Lamb resumed his role as the facilitator and do-it-all work horse of the Long Lions. Lamb was especially effective on the defensive end, grabbing eight steals and three blocks agains the Slingers. With a long break, look for Lamb to be even more effective against the Dragons.

On the other side, Malaysia will try to build on some encouraging signs despite the losses to Singapore. The most heartbreaking of the losses was definitely on the road, where Malaysia actually had the lead before blowing it off a steal and finish by Slingers’ Xavier Alexander. But despite the losses, there’s a lot to be encouraged about, as Malaysia was right there against one of the top teams in the ABL. Now they’ll look to translate that confidence against a tough Hong Kong squad.

Freddie Goldstein and Skylar Spencer will lead the attack for Dragons. Playing against Singapore big man Justin Howard, Skylar Spencer more than held his own, churning out a monster double-double of 18 points and 17 rebounds.

Goldstein on the other hand did a little bit of everything in their latest loss, tallying 30 points, 5 rebounds, 7 assists and one steal. The Dragons have to be encouraged to see how Goldstein is starting to really become effective in his role at guard for the Dragons.

With both teams raring to grab a win in this new year, look for an entertaining match to unfold between the Dragons and Long Lions in Friday basketball action.