Thursday February 28, 2013
Monroe stamps his mark and Dragons are on fire again
By KNG ZHENG GUAN
PETALING JAYA: Westports Malaysia Dragons forward Sammy Monroe has made an instant impact in the Asean Basketball League (ABL) since joining the team two weeks ago.
And he’s now looking to help the team improve on their fourth spot in the standings.
Monroe was brought in to replace Cedric Bozeman, who suffered a lateral collateral ligament (LCL) injury, after the Chinese New Year break.
And the American has been nothing short of inspirational – scoring 32 points against the San Miguel Beermen and the Chang Thailand Slammers.
That helped the Dragons snap a four-game losing streak and revive a season that looked doomed. The Dragons defeated the Beermen 82-76 and the Slammers 83-66.
The American has also struck up a good understanding with the rest of the team, especially with fellow newcomer Justin Melton of the Philippines.
Monroe, however, is not satisfied with the Dragons’ record of four wins and four losses.
“My performance in the last two games was within my expectation,” said the 27-year-old.
“I came with a personal goal ... which was to be aggressive and do whatever was necessary to win. I also understood how much it meant for the team to win these last two games.
“No one wants to be a loser ... my target now is to help the team improve and win the championship.
“My team-mates feel the same too and we have an understanding that we’ll work hard and win all our matches.”
With the Dragons boasting a near injury-free squad and the likes of Monroe, Melton and fellow imports – Moala Tautuaa and Gavin Edwards – in good form, a string of good results is not impossible.
They face the Beermen in the reverse fixture this Saturday at the Ynares Sports Arena in Pasig City, Manila, boosted by the fact former Dragons centre Brian Williams is out with a knee injury.