It all comes down to a winner-take-all Game 3 for the BTN CLS Knights Indonesia and the Saigon Heat this Sunday at the GOR Kertajaya in Surabaya.
The Knights drew first blood with a lopsided 84-69 victory last Saturday. However, the Heat responded by getting their first franchise victory in Game 2, 86-81.
The first playoff encounter between the Heat and the Knights was mostly about the hot shooting of Indonesia. Maxie Esho fired three straight triples in the opening quarter that set the momentum for his squad. The Knights would finish with 14 triples. Come Game 2, it was a different story as the Heat proved to be resilient at home. The Heat did a better job defending the 3-point line. On the offensive side of things, they committed fewer turnovers – 15 compared to 23 in Game 1. It also shot 46 percent from the field, which is a turnaround from their disappointing 37 percent.
It was also a contrast of star production between Game 1 and 2. Esho drilled six triples in the first game while failing to commit a single turnover. But at the CIS Arena, he shot 9-for-22 from the field overall and was responsible for five miscues. He also missed two crucial free throws late in the game that paved the way for the Saigon win.
Trevon Hughes meanwhile had a huge bounce-back performance. After scoring just six points in Game 1, he dropped 30 in Game 2 to keep the Heat’s playoff hopes alive and gave the franchise its first postseason victory. He was relentless in attacking the hoop and went to the line 11 times – a total turnaround from his 0 attempts in Game 1. His production and on-court leadership will be one of the barometers for the Heat’s success in Game 3
The victor between these two proud teams will head to the semifinals and take on the Mono Vampire Basketball Club.
The Knights have been dominant on their home floor, can they pull off another spectacular win in front of their fans? Do the Heat have what it takes to get another playoff win and advance to the semis?
Everything comes down to Game 3.