The Hong Kong Eastern Basketball Team weathered a slow start to defeat Mono Vampire Basketball Club, 95-88 inside the Southorn Stadium in Wan Chai, Hong Kong.
It was a disastrous beginning to the game for Hong Kong, as they trailed by double digits almost immediately in the first quarter. A triple from Nopporn Saengtong gave Mono Vampire it’s biggest lead of the game at 17 points, 25-8 with 51 seconds remaining in the period.
However Hong Kong responded in the second period, outscoring the Thailand-based squad 31-22. Leading the charge was former World MVP Marcus Elliott, who scattered 10 points in the period alone. New addition to the team O’Darien Bassett was also instrumental in the comeback, as the 32-year old guard provided another dimension of penetration and attacking for the home squad.
Disaster would strike for Mono Vampire’s new recruit, World Import Malcolm White. The big man came up lame after an awkward landing battling for the loose ball after a miss, and was in visible pain laying on the ground. White would return to the game, but he would ask out several times, as he tried to manage being in obvious pain.
After a back and forth third quarter, Mono Vampire emerged with an 8 point lead, 71-63 entering the final frame. However Hong Kong would rally back, led by Elliott and Bassett. A 10-2 run punctuated by Wu Cheuk Pan’s field goal tied the game at 73-all at the 5:44 mark.
That tipped off a thrilling back and forth between both squads, as they exchanged three pointers to remain deadlocked with 3:14 left in the game.
Hong Kong would take control inside the final three minutes with a game breaking 7-0 run led by Bassett and Elliott once again. And when the dust settled, Mono Vampire’s defense prevented them from stopping the home team, as the Hong Kong-based squad cruised to the impressive victory.
Bassett had an impressive ABL debut with 28 points, 3 rebounds and 4 assists, while Elliott chipped in 27 points and 9 rebounds. Sam Deguara made his presence felt against his former team with a double-double of 14 points and 16 rebounds. Lee Ki was instrumental off the bench, firing five triples to finish with 15 points and a game high 4 steals.
Mono Vampire was led by Mike Singeltary’s 28 points and 13 rebounds. Malcolm White was solid despite playing hobbled with 21 points and 10 rebounds in his debut.
The victory is Hong Kong’s second in a row, bringing their record to above .500 at 5-4. Mono Vampire remains at 9th place with a 1-6 slate. They will look to bounce back from the defeat on January 6 against the Saigon Heat, while Hong Kong goes on the road to face the Westports Malaysia Dragons on January 6.