After their first two games of the ninth ASEAN Basketball League season, the Saigon Heat showed that they will be a tough team to contend with at home. Playing their first game on the road, the Heat proved they can also cause damage on the road as they defeated the CLS Knights Indonesia, 76-64, Wednesday night in GOR Basket Kertajaya, Surabaya.
Their meeting in Ho Chi Minh City was a tight contest with Saigon needing a game-winner Justin Young. In their rematch, it was a more comfortable victory as the Heat finally figured out how to defend their former import Maxie Esho. He scored 27 points in their first match but was limited to only eight points on 3 of 11 shooting this time around.
Saigon banked on the hot-shooting of Trevon Young who scattered 30 points on a 10 of 22 clip from the field while adding, eight rebounds, seven assists, four steals, and two blocks. Kyle Barone had another solid performance with 24 points and 18 rebounds while Michael Burnatowski still came up with 16 markers even if he made only two of his 11 attempts from the three-point range.
What impressed about Saigon’s performance was that they limited the Knights to below 20 points per quarter, even holding them down to just eight points in the second period. After a hot performance against Hong Kong Eastern in their last game, CLS shot 40% from the field against Saigon and only got five points from their bench.
With Esho struggling, Montay Brandon and Stephen Hurt picked it up for the Knights. Brandon started a rally in the third quarter for the home team while Hurt tried to shoot them back into the game from the three-point area in the fourth but the hits just kept coming from anywhere and everywhere from the Heat. Saigon always had answers for the Knights’ rally attempts and that was the reason why they remained undefeated at 3-0 while CLS drops to 1-2.
Saigon will be heading back home as they welcome their fellow undefeated team in the Formosa Dreamers on Sunday while the Knights will try to rebound from this loss when they fly to Macau to face the Black Bears on the same day.