Another home game against an undefeated team ends up as another heartbreak for the CLS Knights Indonesia. Up by 9 points in the fourth quarter, the Knights lost control in in the dying minutes of the game as they absorbed an 86-83 loss against the Chong Son Kung Fu Basketball Club, Saturday night at the GOR CLS Kertajaya in Indonesia.
A three-point shot from Freddie Lish was quickly followed by a fastbreak layup from Arif Hidayat to give CLS a 73-64 lead at the 6:42 mark of the fourth period. However, the undefeated China-based team refused to allow their unbeaten streak to be ended. New-recruit Mikh McKinney along with Justin Howard, Caelan Tiongson, and Anthony Tucker all chipped in as they went on a searing 14-0 run off a timeout to turn the game around.
Facing a 5-point deficit, 78-73, Lish sank a three-point shot to give the Knights a shot at salvaging a win but Guo Kai and Tiongson extended their lead up to 6.
Lish continued his stellar play with less than a minute left in the game and he scored a putback and then got a steal that led to a three from Decorey Jones to trim their deficit down to a single point, 84-83.
With the game on the line, Howard, who earlier overtook Leo Avenido as the All-Time leading scorer in ABL history, stepped up like he has done so many times in the past. The hulking center grabbed an offensive rebound and then found himself free down low to extend their lead to three, 86-83. The Knights would get a couple of good looks to tie the game but their World imports missed as they suffered another tough loss at home.
“They’re a team that plays with so much energy and emotion. They’re very familiar with the environment but we found a way to win,” said Chong Son Kung Fu head coach Charles Dube-Brais. “CLS is a very good team especially at home. They feed off the energy of the crowd.”
CLS had a fiery start to the game as they led by as much as 15 points, 22-7, in the first quarter, owing to six triples in the first 10 minutes. The Indonesia-based team built confidence early but Chong Son Kung Fu never pushed the panic button as they went back to what helped them win their first three games.
“We got back to what we do in the second quarter. We moved the ball better, we defended a little harder,” Dube-Brais added. “We’re going to be better in the long run but right now we’re still playing with some hesitation.”
Stuck in a tight ballgame against the hungry Knights, Chong Son Kung Fu only had six players seeing action in the game.
Tucker led them with 22 points as he once again got close to getting a triple-double with 10 rebounds and 8 assists. Howard added 19 points and 13 rebounds while Guo and McKinney added 16 points each.
McKinney was named the Player of the Game as he also added 8 rebounds, 5 assists, and a whopping 7 steals in his debut performance.
It was a tough pill to swallow for the Knights especially for Lish and Wuysang who were outstanding all game long. Wuysang had his best performance of the season so far with 19 points, 7 rebounds, and 5 assists while Lish notched 18 points, 4 rebounds, and 5 assists. Brian Williams and Jones combined for 27 points and 30 rebounds but it still was not enough to upset Chong Son Kung Fu as CLS drops its fifth straight game.