Currently on a six-game losing streak, the 5-9 Westports Malaysia Dragons hope to get back on track as they take on the 9-9 BTN CLS Knights Indonesia at the MABA Stadium in Kuala Lumpur.
The eighth place Dragons were on the receiving end of an offensive explosion from the Macau Black Bears’ Mikh McKinney in their previous game. Macau got the 97-86 win behind McKinney’s 35 points. Malaysia’s Chris Eversley had his best game of the season with 28 points and 16 rebounds – both season-highs – but it wasn’t enough to help his team get the win. The 6-foot-7 forward is shooting 37 percent from the field this season.
Despite another disappointing loss, the Dragons got a huge boost from their locals. Liang Chuan Yek, who came in the game versus Macau averaging just 2.2 points, caught fire with his 14-point output. Jonathan Wong also found his range against the Black Bears despite inconsistencies with his shot this season. Wong and Yek combined for seven 3-pointers. They also added a total of six rebounds and seven assists.
After earning a seven-game winning streak, the Knights meanwhile have stumbled and have lost back-to-back games. They got blown out by both the Singapore Slingers and Mono Vampire Basketball Club. One of the players that need step up for Indonesia is center Darryl Watkins. In Indonesia’s recent loss to Thailand, Watkins only had three points. Even though he did have 12 rebounds and five assists, his 3-point output was his lowest since joining the Knights. Watkins, along with reinforcements Maxie Esho and Douglas Herring, as well as Wong Wei Long and Brandon Jawato, all need to bring their A-game to get Indonesia back into the win column.
This Thursday marks the third regular-season meeting between the Dragons and the Knights. They played in each other’s home floors in two successive games with the Knights winning both.