KUALA LUMPUR – The CLS Knights kept it close against Malaysia Matrix, but eventually suffered a 76-72 loss to the Malaysia Hoops Challenge 2018 hosts. The KL Dragons also suffered a loss in their first day at the event, blown out by the Western Australia SBL team 103-43.
The import-less Knights went toe-to-toe with Malaysia Matrix who were lined up with several KL Dragons players from last season like Wong Yi Hou, Teo Kok Hou, Ting Chun Hong, Chin Zhi Shin, and Ivan Yeo. The visitors from Indonesia even held a 53-52 lead at the end of the third quarter, but were eventually unable to hold Malaysia Matrix back who were led by Filipino import Jeff Viernes and American import Anthony Walker.
Asian Games Indonesia National Team player Kaleb Ramot Gemilang starred for CLS Knights with 21 points and shot 3/5 from downtown. He had some moments last season in the ABL, but it seems like the forward could be ready for bigger things this season.
Ivan Yeo had 12 points and 8 rebounds for Malaysia Matrix.
The KL Dragons found themselves up against stiff competition going up against the Australian visiting team, Westen Australia SBL. Coach Jamie Pearlman’s young squad struggled against more physically imposing players, though the Dragons were able to keep it tied at 22 after one quarter. The SBL team held the Dragons to only 9 points in the second half, including a 10 minute stretch between the third and fourth quarter where the Dragons mustered only 2 points.
Chris Eversley led the team in the loss with 21 points, 12 rebounds, and 3 steals.
The final match up of the day in the Malaysia Hoops Challenge saw Red Baron (Malaysia) go up against Adroit (Singapore). Red Baron were bannered by two ex-Dragons local players, Chee Li Wei and Wong Wee Seng, as well as two former Dragons imports, Sammy Monroe and Freddie Goldstein. Adroit themselves featured Singapore Slingers locals Leon Kwek, Wong Wei Long, and Toh Qing Huang.
Adroit led by 33-19 in the first quarter, but the game tightened up towards the end before Red Baron completed the comeback to win 96-90.
Monroe had a monster game of 32 points, 12 rebounds, and 6 assists for the victors.
Leon Kwek scorched in the losing effort with 29 points, 6 rebounds, and 4 assists to go with 6/9 shooting from downtown.
Featured Image via Yoga Prakasita