Even without their big World Import Ryan Moss and with three of their players fouling out, defending ASEAN Basketball League champion Hong Kong Eastern Basketball Team kept their undefeated record intact as they rode on the back of Christian Standhardinger for a 112-105 victory, Friday night at Stadium 29 in Bangkok, Thailand.
After getting two wins on the road to start their title-retention bid, Hong Kong Eastern faced a big challenge in the red-hot Mono Vampire squad, winners of their last three games. The road game got even tougher for them as Ryan Moss was denied entry to Thailand due to Visa issues.
Luckily for the defending champions, Standhardinger was more than ready to fill in the gap as the Heritage Import notched a new career high with 40 points, 17 rebounds, 3 assists, and 5 steals. He shots 15 of 21 from the field, mostly coming from the shaded area off of his 10 offensive rebounds. The 40-point output is the most by a Heritage Import this season and the most ever since Matthew Wright dropped 41 two seasons ago.
Mono Vampire’s hulking World Import Reggie Johnson tried to start the last ditch effort to keep their winning streak alive as he scored back-to-back baskets inside to trim their deficit down to 6, 106-100, with still 68 seconds remaining in the game. However, on the very next play, Standhardinger received a nice pass from Marcus Elliot inside. The Filipino-German lost his footing but was still able to bank the shot in.
Standhardinger finished off Mono Vampire with free throws in the end game to cap his heroics.
“Actually today was not a good day, I had three easy lay-ups that I missed so I apologize to my teammates cause I messed up their assists but everything else, the victory is the most important thing so it worked out,” a humble Standhardinger said after the game. “Ryan Moss is a big part of this team so it’s very important as a team to compensate for losing him so I’m happy we were able to do that.”
Three players from Hong Kong Eastern scored 19 points apiece to make sure that Standhardinger had enough backup. Tyler Lamb and Lee Ki combined to shoot 7 of 12 from the three-point range before fouling out of the game. Marcus Elliot, on the other end, struggled from the floor, shooting only 5 of 18, but he added 6 rebounds and 9 assists to his tally.
Lau Tsz Lai gave them a spark off the bench with 12 points, all on three-point shots.
Johnson led Mono Vampire with 31 points and 8 rebounds but he only played 28 minutes as he was in foul trouble for much of the game. Patrick Sanders and Teerawat Chanthachon scored 15 each while Heritage Imports Jason Brickman and Paul Zamar combined for 23.
Hong Kong Eastern forced a tie at the top with Chong Son Kung Fu Basketball Club at 3-0 while Mono Vampire is alone at the third spot with their 3-2 win-loss tally.