The Taipei Fubon Braves bounced back from a tight loss in their last game as they repeated over the Macau Black Bears, 106-93, Friday night at the Taipei Heping Gymnasium. It was a more comfortable win for the newest team in the ASEAN Basketball League as they found a way to throttle the usually explosive three-point shooting of the Black Bears.
The turning point of the match happened in the third quarter where Mikh McKinney was called for his fifth personal foul on a Tsai Wen-Cheng and-one opportunity. After committing four fouls in the first half which included a technical foul, Macau head coach Charles Hantoumakos risked playing McKinney to open the third. It worked out at first as last season’s leading scorer combined with Kenny Manigault to keep Macau in the game amidst the fiery shooting of OJ Mayo but McKinney was disqualified from the contest with still 3:21 remaining in the period.
To make matters worse, Hantoumakos was also called for a technical foul, which was quickly followed by a mini-run for the Braves to establish a 15-point lead, 77-62, after two Charles Garcia free throws.
The Braves built their biggest lead of the match at 18 points, 91-73, after a Tsai basket. Jenning Leung tried to power one last rally for Macau as he heated up from downtown to inch his team close. Two free throws from the guard got them to within five, 97-92, with 1:51 left in the game.
However, a dunk from Sim Bhullar and a triple from OJ Mayo slammed the door on the Black Bear’s uprising to seal Taipei Fubon’s second win in three games.
Garcia was the Best Player of the Game with 25 points, seven rebounds, five assists, three steals, and two blocks as he shot 9 of 12 from the field. Mayo led them in scoring with 26 points with Bhullar adding 21 markers with only a single miss in 10 shot attempts. Tsao led the Braves’ locals with 13 points along with five rebounds and six assists.
Taipei Fubon banked on their might inside as they dominated inside scoring 58 to 36 while also showing better chemistry with a 27 to 16 advantage in assists as Macau’s offense took a turn for the worse late in the game without their best creator in McKinney.
Manigault led Macau in scoring with 31 points, which is the third time he got to at least 30 in his first four ABL games. Leung added 16 points to their cause while Brandon Edwards chipped in 15 points and seven rebounds, which is 13 short of the caroms he picked up in their first meeting with the Braves.
The Braves are in for another quick turnaround as they face Hong Kong Eastern on the very next day while the Black Bears will try to score a bounce-back win against the neighboring Formosa Dreamers as they continue their road tour of Sunday.