Even with Reggie Johnson saddled in foul trouble for much of the game, the Pilipinas MX3 Kings still could not solve the puzzle that is Westports Malaysia. For the second time this month, the Dragons broke away in the second half to score a 105-91 victory, Wednesday night at the Malolos Sports and Convention Center.
Johnson did most of the damage in their last game but he committed two early fouls in the first quarter and the third in the second.
However, Johnson’s teammates picked up the slack as they shared the offensive load to score their 11th win against four losses to stay at the third spot.
Matthew Wright led all scorers with 28 points on 8 of 18 shooting from the field while adding 4 rebounds, 1 assist, and 2 steals. Jason Brickman stuffed the stat-sheet with 23 points, 6 rebounds, 13 assists, and a steal to be named the Best Player of the Game. Calvin Godfrey added 27 points and 12 rebounds for Wesports Malaysia.
After only leading by one point (49-48) at the half, the Dragons started to pull away late in the third quarter. Eric Salamat scored at the 3:32 mark of the third to cut the Dragons’ lead down to a single points, 62-61, but that would prove to be their last basket for the quarter.
Westports Malaysia, on the other hand, exploded with 13 points in the same span to erect a commanding 75-61 advantage heading into the payoff period.
The Dragons’ lead ballooned further to 19 points early in the fourth. The Kings got their offense going after scoring only 13 in the third canto but they could not get the stops on the other end to tilt the balance to their favor.
Pilipinas MX3 fell further to 2 win against 13 losses. They were led Arizona Reid who matched Wright’s output with 28 points although it took him 24 field goal attempts. Reid added 10 rebounds and 7 assists to his tally but committed 6 turnovers. Nakiea Miller added 22 points and 12 rebounds while Eric Salamat and Ali Austria added a combined 25 points.
The Dragons will travel to Thailand to face Mono Vampire on January 30 and the Kings will do the same on February 3.