The CLS Knights are on the win column in Season 9 of the ABL following an 87-78 victory over Hong Kong Eastern, Saturday at the GOR Basket Kertajaya in Surabaya, Indonesia.
Maxie Esho led the way with 22 points and 10 rebounds and Stephen Hurt added 17 points. Aside from the efforts of the two World Imports, it was a balanced offensive attack for the Knights.
Brandon Jawato put up 19 points on an efficient 6-for-8 shooting clip and former two-time Local MVP Wong Wei Long chipped in with 14. Jawato and Wei Long were marksmen from beyond the arc, hitting four triples each.
Fresh from their heartbreaking loss at the hands of the Saigon Heat, the Indonesian team were determined to put on a show for their home crowd. They stood toe-to-toe against a veteran squad like Hong Kong.
With the Knights clinging on to a mere four-point advantage with four minutes lefts in the game, Wei Long hit a fearless 3-pointer to push the lead to seven points. After Hong Kong answered with five straight points, it was Jawato’s turn to deliver the goods with a gutsy shot from rainbow country. Marcus Elliott attacked the hole aggressively and was rewarded with two foul shots, giving Eastern a fighting chance. But Hurt snuff the life of Hong Kong and sealed the win with a clutch basket with under 50 seconds remaining.
The Knights ended up with 13 triples and found their stride from the free throw line, going 16-for-17. They also outrebounded Eastern, 43-39.
Eric Ferguson had 18 points and nine rebounds for Eastern, who have lost two in a row. Elliott meanwhile finished with 14 points.
The Knights aim for win number two when they play the Heat for the second time on Wednesday, November 28. Eastern meanwhile will have to regroup quickly as they face the Macau Black Bears this Tuesday, November 27.