Undermanned Dragons edged out by Al-Ahli in 2016 FIBA Asia Champions Cup

The Westports Malaysia Dragons continue their 2016 FIBA Asia Champions Cup campaign in Chenzhou, China with a 69-81 point loss to United Arab Emirates club, Al-Ahli. Still with only 6 players to field on game day, the Dragons take in their second straight loss of the tournament.

The defending champions of the ASEAN Basketball League would not just roll over in their disadvantage and pushed the Emirati club to the final stretch.

While the Dragons were without familiar major contributors like Kuek Tian Yuan and Wong Yi Hou for this game, Al-Ahli themselves were without Senegalese import Chiek Samb who had been injured. Both teams moved forward in a closely contested battle which ended at halftime in deadlock, 38-38.

Al-Ahli came out in the second half locked and loaded, bombarding the Dragons defense with 4 straight three pointers in less than 5 minutes to break away to a 50-44 point lead. That run proved to be too much for the Dragons as they couldn’t narrow that gap any closer until the end of the game. Three pointers would be a key point to the game as the Dragons’ decent 8 long range shots made paled in comparison to Al-Ahli’s 12 triples.

Dragon’s imports, Joel Wright and Skylar Spencer, combined for 57 points and 57 rebounds playing the entire 40 minutes with limited bench support to turn to. The Dragons also got promising outputs from Captain Ma Chee Kheun and Choo Wei Hong, who scored 14 points apiece.

The Emiratis were carried by import Sam Young, who led all scorers with 37 points despite being disqualified with his second technical foul early in the 3rd quarter. They were led the rest of the way by Mohammed Alajmani who scored all of his 12 points in the third quarter prior to Young’s ejection.

With this loss the Westports Malaysia Dragons will linger at the bottom of Group B with 2 defeats. They will be taking on Barsy Atyrau the next day (11th October 2016) at 8 PM (GMT +8) in the Chenzhou Olympic Sports Centre Gymnasium.

Cover Photo via FIBA