Sunday February 17, 2013
Dragons back to winning ways after four straight defeats
KUALA LUMPUR: Westsports Malaysia Dragons bounced back from four straight defeats to register a hard fought 82-76 win over last year’s runners-up San Miguel Beermen in the Asean Basketball League (ABL) at the Maba Stadium yesterday.
The victory puts the Dragons back on track for a place in the playoff.
They now have three wins and four defeats in the six-team league.
American Sammy Monroe, who only arrived here two days before the match to replace injured compatriot Cedric Bozeman, was the toast of the Dragons as he single-handedly destroyed the opponents by scoring a whopping 32 points.
Monroe had six three pointers and seven rebounds.
Bozeman, who was the top scorer for Dragons, injured his knee in the match against Singapore Slingers on Feb 5 and he will be out of action for a month.
Justin Melton of the Philippines, who also join the team on Thursday, was the second highest scorer with 19 points.
Dragons were trailing 15-19 in the first quarter before they fought back to take a narrow 39-38 lead in the second quarter.
Cheered by the 3,000-odd crowd, the Dragons played well to put on the pressure on the Philippines team to take a three point lead in the third quarter (59-56).
In the fourth quarter, Dragons defended well and made some fast counter attacks to win by six points.
Dragons coach Ariel Vanguardia praised both Monroe and Melton for the splendid performance despite only joining the team a few days ago.
“Both of them adapted well and also stepped up to the challenge to help us win,” said the Filipino.
“It was the first ever match for Monroe in the ABL and he did exceptionally well to score 32 points. We also have 42 rebounds and this augurs well for the next match.
Dragons’ next match is against Thailand Slammers at the Maba Stadium on Feb 23.