Hong Kong Eastern made a gutsy move before their last game as they activated O’Darien Bassett and released Sam Deguara in the process. Now, the crew of coach Edu Torres will have one more game to develop chemistry with their set of imports as they take on the Wolf Warriors in the final game before the start of the 2019 ABL Playoffs.
Hong Kong Eastern suffered a tough loss to the BTN CLS Knights Indonesia in their last game. It was a highly entertaining match that saw highlight dunks and a barrage of three-point conversions but Chan Siu Wing missed on a game winner with only a couple of seconds left in the clock. The biggest challenge for Hong Kong Eastern was how to protect the point when their lone big man Michael Holyfield was on the bench.
Bassett was impressive upon his return as he scorched hot from the outside. Reforming his tag-team alongside Marcus Elliott will be key if Hong Kong Eastern could be a force in the playoffs.
Even though they have great guards, Hong Kong Eastern will have to figure out what to do when Holyfield is on the bench. They can hang with any top-caliber team when Holyfield is on the floor but their defense takes a big hit without him. As their lone big man, Holyfield is also a target as their opponents will try their best to draw fouls from him.
It has been a tough debut for the Wolf Warriors as they were the first team to be eliminated. However, a silver lining for them was that they had good performances from some of their locals, specifically Cai Chen.
Their initial struggles were brought about by getting imports who did not mesh well with what they were trying to accomplish. They landed former NBA player Eddy Curry but he was not in great physical condition. They also hoped ABL veteran Mario Wuysang had one last run left in him but without pieces to work with, the point guard found it hard to run their offense.
With the ABL’s new rule allowing three World Imports per team, getting the right ones is of utmost importance and this should be the biggest lesson they will learn from their first year in the league.
The Wolf Warriors lost their last game against the rampaging Formosa Dreamers who are the top team and also the hottest in the league right now with nine straight wins. They made it tough for themselves to compete against the Dreamers by committing too many turnovers.
In that game, the Wolf Warriors were led by Cai who has been the top-scoring local in the league so he should be the cornerstone of the franchise moving forward. He is undoubtedly talented, knowing how to score inside and outside so building around him by getting imports who could compliment should be the priority for the Wolf Warriors.
An import who could get another tour of duty for the Wolf Warriors is Mike Bell who had very good numbers in their last game. He missed a few games due to injury but he was explosive, especially on the boards against the Dreamers.