In their first home game of the season, the Macau Black Bears did not disappoint their fans inside the Nanhai Gym as they came away with an emphatic 117-110 victory over the CLS Knights Indonesia on Saturday.
Anthony Tucker had a monster outing of 36 points and 12 assists. The reigning World Import MVP torched the net all game long to end up with seven 3-pointers. Mikh McKinney was Tucker’s partner in crime as he too lit up the scoreboard for 35 points on 11-for-16 shooting and dished out seven dimes. Center Ryan Watkins controlled the paint with his 24-point, 15-rebound game.
Having played their first five contests on the road, the Black Bears were eager to play in their home court especially coming from a subpar outing in a loss to the Singapore Slingers. The Black Bears were caught flat-footed in that game, surrendering a 19-point lead in the opening quarter. Tucker scored 26 points against the Slingers but his 3-point shooting was amiss having gone 2-for-11 from rainbow country.
On Saturday, Tucker quickly put his poor shooting performance in the rearview. He sunk two long bombs in the first frame and set the tone for the home team. The Black Bears exploded for 38 points in the third period, highlighted by a 10-4 run to close out the quarter. The Knights tried to recover in the final frame but every rally was met head-on by the Black Bears.
A layup from Montay Brandon made it a five-point game, 108-103, under three minutes left, but Macau answered with back-to-back triples from McKinney and Tucker to push the lead back to double digits, securing the win.
All five Knight starters finished in double-figures with Maxie Esho carving out a team-high 26 points while adding nine rebounds followed by Brandon’s 24 points, nine rebounds, and eight assists. Unfortunately, the visiting team failed to defend the 3-point line. They allowed Tucker and the Black Bears to shoot a total of 12 triples out of 34 attempts.
The Knights have now suffered two straight losses to settle for a 1-3 record. They will have to regroup quickly as they take on the defending champions San Miguel Alab Pilipinas in their next assignment on December 9. For the Black Bears who are sitting with a 4-2 card, they play their second home game on December 5 versus the Saigon Heat.