Marcus Elliott Proud of Long Lions After Overcoming Adversity in Game 2

“I did not want to watch the game. I did not want to get updates on the phone,” said Marcus Elliott after emerging from their dugout minutes past Hong Kong Eastern’s huge Game 2 victory against Singapore in the ASEAN Basketball League (ABL) Finals. “I just wanted to hear the crowd’s reactions and that told me we won.”

After scoring 26 points, Elliott was ejected in the third quarter as he complained about a foul whistled against him on Xavier Alexander. However, instead of falling apart, the Long Lions pulled together the persevered for a important victory.

“I’m really proud of how the team responded to the challenge but I’m not surprised because I know they are capable of doing that,” Elliott added. “We’ve turned into a very close group and this is definitely one of my favorite teams among all of the groups I’ve joined.”

Hong Kong Eastern’s huge fightback was led by Josh Boone who was outplayed by his counterpart Justin Howard in Game 1. The former NBA player finished with 23 points, 16 rebounds, 2 assists, 4 steals, and 3 blocks in the contest. He played even after rolling his ankle on a rebound play.

“Josh took the last game really hard,” explained Elliott. “He just stayed inside his room and only got out for practice. He wanted to get even and he did that.”

Later in the game, two more Long Lions were disqualified as Steven Guinchard and Fong Shing Yee fouled out of the game but once again the rest of the team stepped up as Lau Tsz Lai stepped into the game and hit the biggest shot.

With 35 seconds remaining in the game and the Long Lions only holding a 5-point lead, 86-81, Tsz Lai connected with a triple off a Chan Siu Wing assist that sealed the deal for the home team.

“The improvements for our locals from the start of the season to today has been night and day,” Elliott continued. “(Tang Chi) Hang played important minutes for us in this game and Tsz Lai hit a big shot, I was told, so it’s proof that this team is so much more than just the imports. It’s a five-man game.”

Elliott did not say a lot about the ejection but clarified that he’s raring to go hard again on Game 3 ing Singapore.

“In Game 1 we did not bring in any kind of energy. We started out flat and that was it,” said the leading candidate to win the World Import – MVP award. “We played with more effort today and I think it showed specially on defense. We made it harder for their guards to set up Justin inside and that’s what we have to do for the rest of this series.”