The Taipei Fubon Braves showed that they already learned their from their last back-to-back stint as they scored a clean sweep this time by defeating Hong Kong Eastern, 102-89, Saturday night at the Taipei Heping Gymnasium.
The newest member of the league upped their record to 3-1 to stay right behind the leading Mono Vampire Basketball Club in the ASEAN Basketball League’s 10th Season.
OJ Mayo had another big game with 27 points along with three rebounds and four assists. Fresh off connecting on 6 of 9 shots from the three-point range in their second win against the Macau Black Bears, the third overall pick of the 2008 NBA Draft outdid himself by making seven triples against Hong Kong Eastern on 11 attempts.
Tsai Chen Weng backed up Mayo with 14 points, equalling his tally in their last game. The Braves displayed a balanced attack on offense with Charles Garcia, Kuo Shao-Chieh, Sim Bhullar, and Lin Chih Chieh all scoring in double digits.
Taipei Fubon was thrown into a firefight early in the game as Hong Kong Eastern was hungry to bounce back after absorbing a loss to the Black Bears in their first game of the season. The visitors built a nine-point lead with three minutes remaining in the first period, 26-17, thanks to the hot-shooting of Trey Kelly who had another outstanding start with 13 points in the opener.
Hong Kong Eastern outscored the Braves 37-30 after the first 10 minutes.
Sending that going toe-to-toe with their driven opponents might not be a dangerous proposition, the Braves changed the battlefield in the second period as they instead focused on defense.
The Braves went on a 10-0 start on the second before finally allowing Hong Kong Eastern to score their first point of the period at the 7:24 mark thanks to a Michael Holyfield split from the free throw line. The home team’s defense held the visiting scoreless in, basically, the final four minutes of the half as they built a 55-44 lead, limiting Hong Kong Eastern to only seven points in the second while scoring 25.
Kell powered a fight back for Hong Kong Eastern in the third as he almost single-handedly got them back into the contest. Two free throws and two sets of inside baskets from the high-scoring ABL rookie import got them within four points, 61-57, but it would be the closest they’d get as Mayo and Lin scored on key three-point conversions to help them carry a double digit lead, 76-66, into the final period.
Garcia, who played limited minutes in the game, started the fourth of a great note by scoring seven points in the first two and a half minutes to stretch their lead to 14, 83-69.
Holyfield and Kell did their best to battle back for Hong Kong Eastern but the Braves simply had too many weapons with Mayo and Tsai hitting important triples in the end game and Bhullar putting the game away with free throws and a basket in the closing minutes.
Kell led Hong Kong Eastern with 37 points on 13 of 21 shooting from the field. TJ Price was their next leading scorer with 22 points but although it took him 25 shot attempts to get there. Holyfield played a lot better compared to their debut as he amassed 16 points and 15 rebounds but they did not get enough help from their locals with Lee Ki and Steven Guinchard only scoring a combined 11 points. They only had three points off the bench courtesy of Jon Siu. In comparison, Taipei Fubon’s second unit finished with 38 points.