The ABL semifinals kicks off this Wednesday with the Chong Son Kung Fu Basketball Club playing against the Mono Vampire Basketball Club at the Nanhai Gymnaisum in Nanhai, China.
Top seed Chong Son ended the regular season on a 6-game winning streak. To say that they’re playing their basketball so far would be an understatement. Even more impressive, they are undefeated at home with a spotless 10-0 record.
Mono meanwhile is fresh from their series sweep against the Singapore Slingers last Sunday. The Thai team set a new record the most number of threes made (14) in an ABL playoff game in their thrilling 85-82 Game 2 win. Michael Singletary led Mono Vampire with 29 points as he shot 6-of-9 from the three-point range, bouncing back from his poor shooting in Game 1.
The season series between Mono and Chong Son is tied with one win apiece. Their first regular season game featured an explosive performance from Singletary. The World Import went off for 41 points and 19 rebounds, and even flirted with a triple-double as he added 9 assists. Aside from Singletary, Mono’s 57-31 rebounding proved to be the difference.
However, in their second meeting, Anthony Tucker was the man of the moment with his dominating game of 35 points, 8 rebounds, and 7 assists. And this time around, Chong Son did a better job defensively. They outrebounded Mono, 40-39. They also defended the three-point line and limited Mono to a 7-for-21 shooting night.
Mono’s explosive offense will surely be their main weapon when they go up against Chong Son. However, the China team is not like the Singapore Slingers. They may not the best defensive team in the league but they are relentless in their own way. They put a ton of pressure with their offense and can shut down anybody for certain stretches.
Leading Chong Son will be Anthony Tucker, one of the leading candidates for World Import MVP with averages of 22.7 points, 8.3 rebounds, 7.8 assists, and 1.6 steals. He is a dangerous scorer who can immediately catch fire and lead his team to victory. In their last regular season game, he willed his team to the victory with a brilliant second half performance against the defending champion Hong Kong Eastern.
Tucker will be pitted against Jason Brickman of Mono Vampire. The point guard battle should be a must-watch matchup as it will be a contrast of style when Brickman and Tucker go head-to-head.
Brickman is the focal point of Mono’s potent offense. He distributes the ball where his teammates can be most effective. He ended up leading the league in assists with 10.3 a game. Tucker is a good passer in his own right with a 7.8 assist average. However, Tucker’s main strength is his ability to get a shot up seemingly anywhere and anytime on the court. The tempo and pace of each team will be anchored by their respective point guards.
The titanic best-of-three semifinals between Chong Son Kung Fu and Mono Vampire begins this Wednesday.