The CLS Knights Indonesia and Saigon Heat at it for the second time this season.
After an exciting finish at the CIS Arena in Ho Chi Minh City, the teams head to the Knights’ home floor at GOR Basket Kertajaya, in Surabaya, Indonesia.
The last time these two squads met, it went down the wire with Justin Young hitting the go-ahead basket to give the Heat their first win. Young provided the late-game heroics, but it was Trevon Hughes who provided the heavy-lifting to put Saigon in a position to win. The spitfire guard scored 13 of his 29 points in the final frame. With Hughes laying down the groundwork, Young hit the game-winner with 3.2 seconds remaining.
Fresh from their win over the Knights, the Heat came up with another brilliant end-game performance to defeat the Macau Black Bears last Sunday. Hughes played another splendid game and eclipsed his previous outing with 36 points. The Heat are now 2-0 for the season.
The Knights meanwhile are coming off an impressive win themselves. Playing with poise and maturity, they outlasted Hong Kong Eastern to register their first win. Maxie Esho had 22 points and 10 rebounds and Stephen Hurt added 17 points. But the game also belonged to locals Wong Wei Long and Brandon Jawato. The two guards caught fire from beyond the arc and combined for eight triples.
As the two teams go head-to-head once again, one of the more interesting matchups is between the Knights’ Esho and the Heat’s Kyle Barone. Esho had a strong performance the first time the Heat and Knights met. He had a team-high 27 points and was aggressive all-game long against his former squad. Esho may be a center, but he has quickness and agility that could rival any forward. He is currently averaging 24.5 points and 8.0 rebounds.
Looking to stop Esho will be Barone, who is currently a top-five rebounder in the league. Through two games, he’s averaging a double-double of 16.0 points and 11.0 rebounds, With his ability to control the boards, he gets a ton of scoring opportunities for his team.
Can the Heat pull off another win or will the Knights get their revenge?