There will be no love lost this Valentine’s Day as the Saigon Heat and Mono Vampire Basketball Club square off for a fourth and final time on Wednesday at Stadium 29, in Bangkok.
The season series currently favors Mono, 2-1. In their previous meeting last January 21, at the CIS Arena in Saigon, Michael Singletary scored 25 points and grabbed 8 rebounds to help Mono come away with a 97-83 win over the Heat.
Mono also did a good job on defending the Heat’s two key guys – David Arnold and Mikey Williams. The two guards combined for 7 points on 3-for-13 shooting.
Mono is currently 9-5 in the standings coming from a heartbreaking loss against the hot-streaking San Miguel Alab Pilipinas. Renaldo Balkman was able to hit a game-winner with 3.8 seconds left that gave the Philippines its seventh straight victory.
On the other hand, Saigon is fresh from an impressive 33-point rout over the Westports Malaysia Dragons. The Heat unleashed a viscous second quarter that blew the game wide open. Moses Morgan caught fire and scored 26 points, 4 points shy of his career-high.
Morgan is playing his best basketball for his squad, putting up career numbers this season. He has increased his scoring, rebounding, and shooting. Aside from shooting an efficient 45 percent shooting clip, he is also jumped his three-point shooting from 28 percent last year to 41 percent this season.
Expect Morgan and the rest of the Heat to bring their A-game when they face Mono.
The battle at the center position could be a huge factor in their matchup. 7-foot-5 big man Sam Deguara will obviously use his height to overpower everybody in his path. With the help of the precise passing of Jason Brickman, Deguara gets a ton of easy opportunities at the rim. The towering center is averaging 20.8 points, 13.8 rebounds, and 1.8 blocks.
Heat center Maxie Esho on the other hand has probably the quickest first step amongst all the centers in the league. Esho knows how to cut, slash, and drive in the lane that makes him difficult to guard. He will bring his 24.6 points, 11.0 rebounds, and 2.1 blocks to try to slow down Deguara and the rest of Mono.
These two teams are sitting in the fourth and fifth place in the standings. As the race for the playoffs gets tighter in the coming weeks, this game will be critical for both.