Powered by the fiery shooting of Mike Taylor, the Wolf Warriors scored only their second win in franchise history as they took down the Mono Vampire Basketball Club, 119-114, Wednesday night at the Doumen Gymnasium in Zhuhai, China.
The win did not come easy as the retooled Thai squad gave the home team a good fight. Back-to-back triples from Freddie Lish cut Mono Vampire’ s deficit down to just two points, 110-108, with still two minutes remaining in the game. However, that was the closest that the visitors got as the Wolf Warrior imports made 7 of 8 free throws in the end game to pick up the important victory as the two teams at the bottom are both out to salvage a playoff spot in the latter half of the elimination round.
Taylor led the Wolf Warriors with a 39-point explosion on 14 of 28 shooting from the field. This time, though, he got enough help from fellow import Mike Bell and Shawntez Patterson who combined for 31 markers.
As always, the Zhuhai-based squad relied on Cai Chen to lead the fight for the locals as the talented big man dropped 20 points, 10 rebounds, and six assists while he was backed up by Liu Xu with a dozen markers.
Although the Wolf Warriors are still at the bottom of the standings holding a 2-14 win-loss tally, the win over Mono Vampire might just be the spark they needed to rally. The win was especially impressive as they were on a back-end of a back-to-back home-stand, suffering a loss to defending champion San Miguel Alab Pilipinas the day before.
After the sudden departure of Jason Brickman, Lish was elevated into the starting role and he responded with 17 points, six rebounds, eight assists, and five steals. Mike Singletary picked up a triple-double with 26 points, 11 rebounds, and 12 assists while Malcolm White led them in scoring with 33.
ABL veteran Tyler Lamb was a great addition to the squad as he flirted with a triple-double with 24 points, nine rebounds, and seven assists but it was not enough to help Mono Vampire get the victory. At 2-12, they will now await the arrival of Romeo Travis and prepare for their next game, also against the Wolf Warriors, in Thailand on Saturday.