With two new imports in their roster, the Wolf Warriors played much better in the fourth game of their ASEAN Basketball League debut season but it still was not enough to pick up a victory as they lost 88-76 at home to Hong Kong Eastern, Saturday night at the Doumen Gymnasium in Zhuhai.
The game did not start well for the Wolf Warriors as they found themselves down by double-digits early in the game. Hong Kong Eastern was eager to bounce back after losing their last three games so they came out firing in the first quarter, leading 16-1 capped by an Eric Ferguson basket.
In their past three games, the Wolf Warriors found it hard to overcome deficits. A lead like what Hong Kong Eastern had could have been enough to convince the home squad that they did not have a shot at winning.
Then it all changed for the Wolf Warriors new import Eric Tisby and Jenning Leung started heating up from the outside. With some help from Hong Kong Eastern’s fouling spree late in the first, the Wolf Warriors all but erased their deficit, 24-23, after the first 10 minutes.
Two locals stepped up for Hong Kong Eastern as Lee Ki and Jon Siu combined for 15 of their team’s 25 points in the second period to lead 49-43 at the half.
Sam Deguara then started throwing his weight around in the third as he made three baskets in the period to help Hong Kong Easter reestablish a double-digit lead as they surged ahead 74-59 heading into the final quarter.
At this point, another local had his time under the spotlight for the visitors with Lau Tsz Lai hitting back-to-back threes to open the period and extend their lead to 19 points, 80-61. Hong Kong Eastern established its biggest lead midway through the fourth at 85-83 off a Ferguson basket before cruising their way to the much-needed bounce-back victory.
Tisby had a solid debut with 22 points, connecting on four of his six shots from the three-point range. His fellow ABL rookie Mike Bell posted all around numbers of 13 points, 11 rebounds, six assists, four steals, and three blocks. Local Cai Chen flirted with a triple-double with 17 points, seven rebounds, and seven assists while former NBA player Eddy Curry had another unimpressive performance after missing the second half of their last game against the Formosa Dreamers, finishing with seven points and four rebounds.
Hong Kong Eastern was led by Ferguson with 29 points and nine rebounds while Marcus Elliott missed a triple-double by an assist as he had 10 points, 13 rebounds, and nine dimes. Lee was huge for them as he chipped in 18 points on four of eight shooting from downtown while Deguara added12 points, 11 rebounds, and five assists while managing to stay away from foul trouble this time.
It was the first game of a home-and-home series as the two teams will meet again on Tuesday at the Southorn Stadium in Wan Chai, Hong Kong.