Sunday March 17, 2013
Dragons aim to get first win over defending champs Warriors
PETALING JAYA: The Westports Malaysia Dragons will be looking for their first win over defending champions Indonesia Warriors when they clash in the Asean Basketball League (ABL) in Ho Chi Minh City today.
The Dragons were in impressive form in the first game of the Hoops Fest on Friday, beating home team Saigon Heat 90-69 to stay third in the six-team standings with a 6-5 record.
The Warriors lead the standings with an 8-3 record followed by the San Miguel Beermen of the Philippines on 7-3.
“We have not beaten the Warriors this season and we lost at home to them last month. There is definitely enough motivation in the team to win,” said Dragons coach Ariel Vanguardia.
“But we have to be stronger defensively if we want to have a shot at winning.
“In the match against the Heat, we were too tight at the start. The Heat started better as they were not under pressure to win.
“But I have to give credit to my local boys ... (Loh) Shee Fai and K. Satyaseelan who stepped up in the absence of Patrick (Cabahug),” added Vanguardia.
Cabahug suffered a sprained ankle last week. In his absence, Shee Fai and Satyaseelan did an impressive job, contributing 12 and nine points respectively.
“Defensively, we did a good job too with captain B. Guganeswaran and (Ooi) Ban Sin putting good pressure on their guards Jai Reyes and Al Vergara,” said Vanguardia.
“That pressure took away their second passes and gave them less time to execute their offence. We need to do that against the Warriors.”
Vanguardia added that new import Marcus Hubbard, formerly of NBA side Los Angeles Clippers, initially struggled to find his footing against the Heat but recovered well to score 14 points.
“Marcus is definitely an important addition to the squad. I believe he will make his presence felt against the Warriors,” said Vanguardia.