After figuring in a highly-contested ball game just last two days ago, the BTN CLS Knights Indonesia and Westports Malaysia Dragons go at it again tonight.
The Knights were tested against a gritty Malaysia squad after blowing out opponents their past five games, including four at their home floor in GOR Kertajaya. Clutch baskets from Douglas Herring and Brandon Jawato catapulted Indonesia to the 73-70 win.
Maxie Esho once again did the heavy lifting for his squad, finishing with 21 points and eight rebounds. Herring added 13 points, 10 assists, three steals, and played fearlessly in the clutch. The gutsy guard hit a go-ahead basket with 38 seconds remaining to give his team a 71-70 lead. On the very next possession, he forced a turnover on the Dragons’ Winston Shepard. The Knights were able to get the ball back and that led to the Jawato dagger with seven seconds remaining.
The Indonesian squad have now won six straight games and have concluded their five-game homestand. They currently own an 8-7 record.
The Dragons, on the other hand, are on a four-game skid and have dropped to 5-7 in the standings.
Now it’s the Dragons’ turn to have homecourt advantage as tipoff is set at the MABA Stadium in Kuala Lumpur. The Dragons are 3-1 at home and can exploit the weakness of their opponent on the road as the Knights are just 1-5 when they play outside GOR Kertajaya.
Loh Shee Fai was a good source of offense for Malaysia in its last game. The ABL veteran lit the scoreboard for 17 big points, anchored by three 3-pointers after averaging just 9.1 points prior.
The Dragons also need the contributions of their World Import Chris Eversley. The 6-foot-7 big man was limited to just 11 points on 4-for-11 shooting in the loss versus the Knights. Last season, he was putting up 28.3 points per game on 46 percent shooting. This season, he is scoring just 17.1 points on a 36 percent shooting clip. He needs to be a consistent force on offense to turn things around for his squad.
The Knights are looking for a repeat of their success and keep their winning streak going while the Dragons are hoping to avenge their loss.