The Formosa Dreamers played one of their best games of the season but it still was not enough upset the second-place Chong Son Kung Fu Basketball Club. The Dreamers ran out of gas in the end game as they absorbed an 88-77 loss at home.
With Justin Howard and Caelan Tiongson both fouling out of the game in the fourth quarter, Formosa had a golden chance of scoring a monumental upset but they could not put together a run to sway momentum onto their side.
Anthony Tucker made sure that his team will stay within striking distance of the league-leading Hong Kong Eastern Basketball team as he scored 22 points and added 14 rebounds and 8 assists. Tucker missed all of his four attempts from the field in the first half but came alive in the third to start Kung Fu’s rally.
A dunk from Ronnie Aguilar with 6:54 left in the third quarter gave the Dreamers a 73-69 advantage but Kung Fu came back roaring into the match as they went on an 8-0 run to take a 77-73 lead.
Down by 4, 79-75, with a little over three minutes left in the game, Formosa got a golden chance as Howard fouled Aguilar hard down low. The two then exchanged heated words with the referee calling a double technical but that would be Howard’s last.
However, Aguilar could not take advantage as he missed both free throws.
Down by 8, 83-75, with two minutes left, Aguilar drew Tiongson’s fifth and final foul but he also missed two free throws, which also deflated the Dreamers.
A local then stepped up big time for Chong Son as Luo Yongxan, who has not scored in his entire ABL career, nailed his third triple of the contest to put the game away as they led 86-75.
Howard had 23 points on 10 of 14 shooting from the field but he missed a double-double for the first time this season with only 7 boards. Heritage Import Tiongson and Mikh McKinney combined for 29 points and 16 rebounds but it was the performance of Luo with 9 points off the bench that was the big difference in the game.
Aguilar led Formosa with 23 points and 12 rebounds but he also committed 7 turnovers and made only 1 of 6 free throw attempts. Lenny Daniel struggled with his shooting (7 of 20) but still finished with 16 points alongside 6 rebounds and 5 assists. The Dreamers had a decent shot at upsetting the Kung because of the stellar play of a couple of locals in Wu Sung Wei with 17 points and Yang Tian You with 11.
Formosa will have to forget about the loss quickly and recover physically as fast as they can because they will be taking on a hungry CLS Knights Indonesia squad tomorrow.