“He told me to take the baskets whenever I have open shots.” Ting Chun Hong said about his coach’s advice in this game.
The advice turned out to be beneficial for both Ting and the team, as he exploded for a team-high 21 points and 6 three-point shots. Ting had a poor shooting night in the previous game when he missed all six long range shots, but was more on target today.
It was clear early on that it was going to be a special game for Ting. After being substituted in at the 4 minute mark of the first quarter, Ting rained in three straight three-point shots in the span of less than two minutes. The first quarter ended with Malaysia in the lead 26-21. Aside from Ting’s contribution, fellow young prospect Wong Yi Hou also poured in 7 points highlighted by a two-handed slam dunk that brought the crowd to life. Malaysia controlled the flow of the game, but Chung Chou University was able to stay close with the sharpshooting of Yu-Cheng Du.
Du continued to be a problem for Malaysia halfway in the second quarter when his three straight triples ignited a 15-2 run. Malaysia was able to spark an 8-0 run to end the half but their turnover problem’s coupled with Chung Chou’s sharpshooting had them trailing 43-45.
Both teams opened up the third quarter trading three-point shots, but kept each other scoreless for the next three minutes before Wong Yi Hou hit his second straight three pointer. With only a few second left in the third quarter, Teo Kok Hou broke down the Chung Chou’s pressure defense and kicked out to a lurking Kuek Tian Yuan for a corner three right before the buzzer giving Malaysia a 70-61 lead.
Chong Chou started the fourth quarter with a 5-0 run, but they couldn’t keep up with Malaysia as the lead grew up to 16 points with less than 3 minutes left in the game. The home team keep their cool and made their free-throws to close out the game with a 98-88 win.
Turnovers were a problem for Malaysia and the 28 times they coughed up the ball made the game closer than. They made it up with their tall lineup, who collected 59 rebounds which was more than twice the number that Chung Chou was able to grab.
Though Ting Chun Hong’s three-point shooting was something that ABL fans might not be used to, he still displayed the hustle that he is known for with a game-high 4 offensive rebounds. Kuek Tian Yuan paled in comparison, especially with yesterday’s game still on everyone’s mind, but still contributed an all-around game of 15 points, 9 rebounds, and 5 assists. Chee Li Wei threw in a vintage double-double of 11 points and 11 rebounds.
Malaysia are now 2-0 and will be going up against the ACBA Dragons (Australia) tomorrow. The ACBA Dragons are also 2-0 and this game will determine the 1st and 2nd place of the first round. Both teams will play each other once again on Saturday, June 17, to determine the champions of the MABA International Basketball Invitational 2017.
Cover Photo by Onvisa Thewphaingarm