The BTN CLS Knights Indonesia are not quitting in the race for the top four just yet as they’re staying within striking distance after picking up another victory against the free-falling Westports Malaysia Dragons, 73-62, in a low-scoring battle at the GOR Basket Kertajaya in Surabaya.
It was a tight game in the fourth period as free-throw from Winston Shepard cut the Dragons’ deficit to just four points, 57-53. However, the Knights rallied while Westports Malaysia simply could not buy a field goal until it was too late.
BTN CLS went on a 9-0 capped by a layup from Douglas Herring to extend their lead to 13 points, 66-53. The Dragons finally scored their first field goal of the final quarter at the three-minute mark courtesy Chris Eversley but Maxie Esho would put the finishing touches in the game as he scored five points in the final two minutes.
Esho was named the Best Player of the Game with 24 points and eight rebounds on an impressive 10 of 16 clip from the field. Wong Wei Long backed him up with 14 points, going 4 for 9 from the three-point range to rebound after a lackluster performance against the Singapore Slingers in their last loss.
The Knights also got double-digit numbers from their other three starters as Daryl Watkins scored 13 points while Brandon Jawato and Douglas Herring added 11 each.
Westports Malaysia was led by Eversley with 20 points while Shepard and Yek Liang Chuan added 12 each. Nnanna Egwu was the only other double-digit scorer for the Dragons with 11 markers.
The Dragons have now suffered their fifth straight defeat and it came at the most inopportune moment with Mono Vampire getting their rhythm. Westports Malaysia is now a full game behind the Thai team with six against 14 losses.
The Knights, on the other end, are at the sixth spot with a 12-11 win-loss tally. A sweep of their final games might just be enough to finish in the top four and get home-court advantage in the ABL quarterfinals.