Marcus Elliott set the tone while O’Darien Bassett closed the game.
In a battle of runs and counter runs, it was Hong Kong Eastern who came out on top, defeating the Westports Malaysia Dragons, 79-70, Wednesday night at the Southorn Stadium in Wan Chai, Hong Kong.
Elliott had a team-high 24 points and did a tremendous job on the glass with 14 rebounds. Bassett meanwhile delivered in the clutch, scoring 10 of his 19 points in the deciding fourth quarter. Bassett also collected six rebounds and eight assists. The backcourt duo helped Hong Kong notch its ninth in 16 games.
Fellow World Import Sam Deguara provided 11 points and 14 boards while Chan Siu Wing was a deadeye from beyond the arc and knocked down five triples en route to a 17-point outing. The 6-foot-3 guard came into the game averaging just 5.3 points but found his range versus the Dragons.
For Malaysia, Winston Shepard had an all-around game of 26 points, 14 rebounds, and six assists. Nnanna Egwu was right behind with 20 points and seven boards.
A basket by Elliott gave Hong Kong a 16-point lead, 64-48, early in the fourth quarter. But the resilient Dragons would not go down without a fight. Malaysia came back with a furious 17-5 run to cut the deficit to just four points with three and a half remaining. Bassett doused the Dragons’ rally with a floater to make it 71-65. After an exchange of baskets from Shepard and Elliott, Bassett knocked down a clutch jumper with 1:34 left to give Hong Kong an eight-point advantage. Egwu countered with a triple, but it turned out to be the last points from Malaysia as Eastern closed the game with free throws.
The two teams did not shoot particularly well from the field but it was the 14 triples from Eastern that proved to be the difference. They also capitalized on the Dragons’ 16 turnovers, collecting 23 points off of those errors.
Hong Kong Eastern is currently in fifth place in the standings with a 9-7 record. The Westports Malaysia Dragons, on the other hand, drop to 5-5, for seventh place.