Tuesday, January 5, 2010
Yee Chun Leong
BANDAR SERI BEGAWAN
Tuesday, January 5, 2010
Brunei side on track for ABL playoffs
THE Barracudas survived a late scare to defeat the Thailand Tigers 94-89 for their first win of the year in their Asean Basketball League (ABL) match at the Nimibutr National Stadium in Bangkok last night.
The victory puts the Bruneians on the right track for the ABL playoffs due to start on Jan 30.
The Barracudas once again had a distributed scoring game with all five imports in double digits.
Captain Francis 'Kiko' Adriano led the way with a game-high 30 points. The Filipino added 10 rebounds for a double-double.
Adriano's compatriot Leo Avenido contributed 20 points while American Reggie Larry had a double-double with 17 points and 13 rebounds.
Larry's compatriot Mike Pilgrim chipped in 15 points.
Another Filipino Don Camaso also scored 12 points in the victory.
American import, Chaz Briggs, topscored for the Tigers with 27 points and hauled down 15 rebounds to his name for a double-double.
Attaporn Lertmalaiporn chipped in 14 points in a losing effort.
Brunei's first professional basketball team carried an 81-70 advantage heading into the final stanza before the Tigers rallied behind Briggs, who scored 15 points, to outscore the Barracudas 17-7 to cut the lead to one at 88-87 with less than four minutes left to play in the game.
The Tigers finally took the lead with about three minutes left through a shot by Attaporn and they were the last points the Tigers would put on the scoreboard.
The Brunei side rode on their luck despite missing key free throws down the stretch whereas the Tigers failed to make their shots to see the game end in favour of the Barracudas.
"The team just stayed composed and were able to dig deep in the final minutes of the game to allow them to win the match," said Benny Ang, the Barracudas manager, in an interview with The Brunei Times yesterday.
"We know that the Tigers are a dangerous team and we respect that. They put up a good fight and we're just glad we got out of there with a win," added Ang.
Both teams started out neck and neck as they exchanged baskets at both ends of the floor.
The Barracudas edged ahead 13-12 midway through the opening period and caught fire to outscore their opponents 15-6 to close out the quarter with a 28-18 lead going into the second period.
The Tigers were not helped by their poor free throw shooting in the first quarter making only two out of 10 attempts from the charity stripe.
It was the same affair in the second quarter as both teams continued to exchange baskets throughout the period.
Four of the Barracudas players were already in double digits at halftime with Adriano leading with 15 points, Larry with 12 points while Camaso and Pilgrim each chipped in 10.
Briggs already had a double-double with 12 points and 10 rebounds.
The Tigers started out shaky in the third period while the Barracudas were firing on all cylinders to open up the biggest lead of the game at 17 with the scoreboard reading 67-50 midway through the quarter.
But the Barracudas were made to worry when Pilgrim picked up his fourth foul at that time and was forced to sit out.
This allowed the Tigers to claw their way back into the match.
The victory propels the Barracudas up into fourth place with a 5-6 win-loss record on 16 points while the Tigers fall to fifth spot with a 3-10 record also with 16 points.
The Barracudas' next game will be against Satria Muda BritAma at the BritAma Arena in Jakarta on Jan 10.
Today's match will see the KL Dragons play Satria Muda at the MABA Stadium in Kuala Lumpur at 8pm.
source: The Brunei Times