The Hong Kong Eastern Basketball Team continued their undefeated run to open their title retention bid as they defeated the Formosa Dreamers, 120-97, Sunday afternoon at the Changhua Stadium.
All five starters of the defending champions scored in double digits as led by Tyler Lamb who continued his sweet shooting going. The reigning Heritage Import MVP led Hong Kong Eastern with 22 points on 6 of 12 shooting from the field while adding 7 rebounds and 6 assists. All players of the Eastern Basketball Team got on the scoreboard and compiled for an ABL record 120 points. This broke the previous record of 116 points set by the Westports Malaysia Dragons earlier this season.
“I’ve been in a pretty good rhythm this season and my teammates have done a good job of finding me wide open,” said Lamb after the game.
After a 13-13 deadlock, a shot from Lee Ki gave Hong Kong Eastern a 2-point lead and the seasoned squad would hold on to that advantage until the final buzzer, even extending it to 36 in the third quarter.
The defending champions broke the game wide open in the third quarter as they ran Formosa out of the gym. With the Dreamers not even having a full day to rest and recuperate from their loss to Tanduay Alab Pilipinas, their starters simply had no legs in the third to keep up with the fresh Hong Kong side. Ryan Moss, Christian Standhardinger, Marcus Elliot, and Lamb took turns in running the break as they outscored Formosa 38 to 21 in the third to carry a commanding 98-62 heading into the final period.
With the result no longer in question, the Dreamers decided to sit their World Imports Lenny Daniel and Jaleel Cousins who combined for 36 points and 17 rebounds in the game. However, instead of heading for the exits in what was an impending blowout loss, the fans for Formosa decided to stick around and cheer even louder as their locals were given their time to shine in the fourth.
Chen Yu Han led the Formosa locals with 15 points with Chai Wei adding 13. Although it turned out to be another loss on their tally, Formosa should be happy with the fight their locals showed in the fourth quarter as they did not give an inch against the defending champions. They played physical ball and ran at every opportunity which should bode well for the future of the squad even if they are currently traversing a shaky path.
Sensing that Formosa will no longer field their World Imports, head coach Edu Torres started pulling his starters early in the fourth.
Standhardinger had 21 points and 6 rebounds, Elliot chipped in 19 points and added 13 assists while Moss and Lee combined for 25 points in the game at an ultra-efficient 11 of 13 shooting from the field.
Formosa closes their year with 1-4 win-loss tally while Hong Kong Eastern stays on top of the standings at 6-0. They will take on the Singapore Slingers once more on December 20 at home for the penultimate game of 2017 in the ABL.