The theme for the Hong Kong Eastern Basketball Club was to bounce back. After suffering their first loss of the season at the hands of the Saigon Heat in their last game, the defending champions took out their frustration on the Formosa Dreamers, scoring a 99-79 win Thursday night at the Southorn Stadium.
It was almost like Hong Kong Eastern’s players took to heart their deficiencies in the loss and made an effort not to repeat the same mistake against the Dreamers. Tyler Lamb, who only had 11 points in their last game on 1 of 11 shooting from the three-point range, started aggressively to get over his shooting slump. Lamb ended up with 25 points, 7 rebounds, 3 assists, and 4 steals.
Christian Standhardinger, who missed 12 free throws against Saigon, also corrected his error as he was a perfect 9 of 9 from the stripe as he totaled 25 points along with 10 rebounds.
Formosa put up a fight in the first half with Lenny Daniel and Wu Sung Wei carrying the load on offense but, as usual, the third quarter was a different story altogether as Hong Kong Eastern head coach Edu Torres showed that he is the master of halftime adjustments in the ABL.
The defending champions tightened their defense in the third as they limited the Dreamers to scored only 17 points while exploding for 27 on the other end. The possibility of a Formosa comeback was quickly quashed at the start of the fourth quarter when their other World Import Ronnie Aguilar fouled out of the game.
Aguilar got entangled with Ryan Moss in a rebound play and new recruit was called for a personal foul. The two were assessed a technical foul each after their verbal altercation, which would be Aguilar’s fifth personal foul in the game.
Torres emptied out his bench soon after as Hong Kong Eastern was already assured of getting the bounce-back victory.
For the second straight game, Marcus Elliot had another triple-double with 19 points, 11 rebounds, and 11 assists. Moss also had an outstanding game with 14 points, 9 rebounds, and 6 blocks.
“Defensively, we came in with a better mindset. We were focused and we helped each other out,” said Elliot after the match as he was named the Co-Best Player of the Game with Lamb. Hong Kong Eastern limited Formosa to only 42% shooting from the field and forced them to commit 21 turnovers.
“It’s tough this month because we have three games and about two weeks in between games so it’s tough to get a rhythm,” Lamb admitted. “We just have to work every day and try to get better. We just have to focus on ourselves and we’ll be fine.”
Formosa was led by Daniel with yet another double-double (19 points, 11 rebounds) while Wu backed him up with 15 points off the bench. Aguilar grabbed 16 boards in the game but shot a paltry 5 of 18 from the field for 14 points.