After taking the lead on the race for the eighth spot, Mono Vampire is hoping to build on it as they take on the Saigon Heat. The Thai squad, a finalist in the last ABL season, is coming off an impressive win against Hong Kong Eastern while their opponent easily handled the Wolf Warriors in their last game.
Mono Vampire is now holding a 7-14 win-loss tally, a full game ahead of the Westports Malaysia Dragons. After a tumultuous start that saw they struggling from the beginning, they are now in great position to sneak into the playoffs.
While the prospects of finishing in the top two are now low for the Heat, they are hoping to hang on to the top four spot where they are right now as it would afford them home-court advantage in the quarterfinals.
Mono Vampire took care of business against former ABL champion Hong Kong Eastern in their last game. Although the final score was close, they were never really in trouble as they led by as much as 18 points after a hot 33-19 start. Eastern never led in the game as many of their mistakes led to points off turnovers for Mono Vampire.
They were once again led by their two prolific imports in Malcolm White and Mike Singletary. The two have formed a good partnership together but they found it hard to carry their team to victories. However, with the addition of more weapons into their squad, everything is now falling into place for their team.
The Heat have dominated their matchup against Mono Vampire this season as they have won all three meetings. However, their matches were late last year and back in January, which means that the Heat have not faced off against the new and improved Mono Vampire with Romeo Travis and Tyler Lamb.
Saigon is coming off an easy win against the Wolf Warriors in their last contest. From a predominantly outside shooting team at the start of the season, they have now altered their philosophy as the Heat are looking to dominate the interior.
This new identity is hinged on Kyle Barone and DeAngelo Hamilton as the Heat pulled off a big move by replacing Murphy Burnatowski. There was an instant impact as they dominated the shaded area against the Wolf Warriors.
This does not, however, mean that they are turning their backs on the long ball completely as Corey Cilia has stepped up to be their knockdown shooter. It could not have been a coincidence that Cilia had his best ABL performance after the departure of Burnatowski.