The Westports Malaysia Dragons and Saigon Heat are both out to start the new year with a bang as they face off for the first ABL game of 2019.
The Dragons had a long break as their last game was back in December 9 also against the Heat. In that game, Westports Malaysia took a 65-60 defeat in a game where neither team got going offensively.
The issue for the Dragons right now is that they have not been getting enough scoring support from their locals and their imports cannot carry the scoring load on their own. Chris Eversley and Winston Shephard can combine for about 40 to 50 points per game but with their third import Nnanna Egwu averaging single digits in scoring, they’ll need one or two of their locals to also contribute in scoring.
Saigon ended 2018 on a great note with a win against Mono Vampire and now they’re getting their main weapon back as Trevon Hughes has fully recovered from a leg injury. The Heat will be a little smaller without DeAngelo Hamilton but they will get back one of the best scorers in the entire league alongside two deadly scorers in Murphy Burnatowski and Kyle Barone.
The return of Hughes will also alleviate the pressure on the shoulders of Saigon’s local guards who had to fill the ball handling role for their squad in the import’s absence. This became a point off attack for the opposing defense, which will not be a problem for the Heat anymore.
The Dragons are currently holding a 1-2 win loss tally and they need to put wins together to be able to move up and chase the leaders. On the other side, the Heat are in the top four with six wins against three losses and a win is imperative to stay ahead of the Singapore Slingers.