The Saigon Heat defended home court at the CIS Arena with a 87-76 win over Mono Vampire Basketball Club in Saturday night ASEAN Basketball League action.
Reeling from a disappointing loss to the Singapore Slingers in their previous match, the Heat came out with a sense of purpose and intensity from the jump, beginning the game with an 11-2 run courtesy of a hot start from De Angelo Hamilton.
From then on, Mono Vampire had to play catch up against the Heat. Though the team was buoyed by the inclusion of Freddie Goldstein in the lineup, the squad missed the presence of last year’s co-Defensive Player of the Year Chris Charles who did not play in the game. The Heat were led by a dominant performance from Kyle Barone, who scored from everywhere on the floor including dunks that punctuated the end of the 3rd quarter and the start of the 4th.
Free throws from Barone at the 5:29 mark gave the Heat its biggest lead 56-39 in the third quarter. But Mono Vampire finished the period on a 14-3 run to get within striking distance, 59-53.
However the home team was able to get solid contributions from Barone, Hamilton, Chris Dierker and Murphy Burnatowski in the period, keeping Mono Vampire at bay. A freethrow from Dierkier at the 3:04 mark gave the Heat a 10 point lead once again. A layup from Jason Brickman and Mike Singletary got Mono Vampire to within five points with 2:18 left in the game, however a booming triple from Barone sealed the deal for the Heat, as they cruised to the victory.
Barone had a game high 33 points and tacked on 18 rebounds to lead the Heat, while Hamilton and Burnatowski added 19 and 17 points respectively.
Mike Singletary tallied 23 points and 12 rebounds to lead Mono Vampire, while Brickman had 21 points, 7 rebounds and 2 assists. In his debut game for Mono Vampire, Goldstein had 6 points and 6 rebounds in 14 minutes.
With the loss, Mono Vampire fails to finish 2018 on a high note, and build on their first win of the season with a 1-5 card. The Heat on the other hand climb to 6-3.