It was a record-setting night in Indonesia.
Amid the joyous fans inside GOR Kertajaya in Surabaya, the CLS Knights Indonesia made 22 3-pointers, the most by any team in ABL history, to demolish the Black Bears, 105-78, on Sunday.
The Knights caught fire and displayed astonishing shooting, going 22-of-38, a remarkable 57 percent, from beyond the arc. The Indonesian squad broke the previous record of 19 triples, a feat shared by the Formosa Dreamers and the Black Bears themselves, earlier this season.
Maxie Esho had a team-high 25 points and grabbed 11 rebounds to lead the Knights while Douglas Herring also had a historic night with a record 19 assists, alongside nine points. His 19 dimes are now the most by a World Import and were just two assists shy of Jason Brickman’s record of 21. He was one step ahead of the defense, finding his teammates for easy opportunities.
Former two-time Local MVP Wong Wei Long meanwhile had a breakout game with 22 points and seven assists and Brandon Jawato added 17. Sandy Kurniawan also provided a spark off the bench with 15 points. Wong, Esho, Jawato, and Kurniawan were deadeyes from rainbow country and hit five 3-pointers each in the lopsided contest.
The home team found their groove early with nine triples already in the first half. They were up by 17 points in the second quarter but the Black Bears ended the period on a 9-0 run to make it a manageable margin of eight points heading into the break.
And then the Knights’ unbelievable scoring onslaught happened in the second half. Indonesia turned the game into its own shooting gallery with a 41-point third quarter while limiting its opponent to just 14. The Black Bears were left utterly stunned as they were met with a barrage of 3-pointers.
The Knights could do no wrong in the opening minutes of the third with Wong even being able to connect on a rare four-point play, fishing the foul on Mikh McKinney at the 3-point line. The Macau World Import argued with the call and was slapped with a technical foul. Wong sank the technical free throw to make it 73-45 with 5:04 in the third as part of a 25-5 run. The quarter ended with none other than a booming triple from Esho to build a 35-point lead.
The advantage of the Knights grew as high as 41 points, 97-56, early in the fourth period courtesy of another 3-pointer from Wong. The Black Bears were left reeling for the rest of the way and the Knights earned a victory in a stunning display of shooting.
McKinney finished with 29 points and six rebounds while Anthony Tucker put up 22 points, eight assists, and six boards for Macau. Ryan Watkins also added double-double 18 points and 19 rebounds in a losing effort. The Black Bears were overwhelmed by the Knights’ 3-pointers and could not find their rhythm in the second half. From averaging a league-leading 108.2 points per game, they were only able to muster a total of 75 points against Indonesia.
The Knights hope to carry the magic of their historic night when they host the Formosa Dreamers on January 16. The Black Bears, on the other hand, will have to lick their wounds quickly as they’ll go up against the defending champions San Miguel Alab Pilipinas on January 18.