Saturday March 2, 2013
Basketball: Dragons hoping Edwards will show good form again against Beermen
By KNG ZHENG GUAN
PETALING JAYA: An improved Gavin Edwards has been pivotal in helping the Westports Malaysia Dragons snap out of a four-game slump in the Asean Basketball League (ABL) last month.
The Dragons will certainly look to the 25-year-old American to provide some spark when they face the San Miguel Beermen at the Ynares Sports Arena in Pasig City, Manila, today.
It will be their first visit to the Philippines since losing to the Beermen in last year’s semi-finals.
Edwards, who has been with the team since January, got his ABL career off to a relatively slow start.
Despite averaging double digit scores in almost every game, he struggled initially at the low post and was consistently bullied by the bigger players such as the Chang Thailand Slammers’ Christopher Charles, who grabbed 29 points and 27 rebounds in the Feb 2 match.
The Slammers won the match 77-65.
The 2.06m-tall Edwards has since stepped up a gear and dished out two of his better performances against the Beermen on Feb 16 and the Slammers last week. The Dragons won both matches with scores of 82-76 and 83-66 respectively.
“I think my slow start was due to the fact that I was still adapting to the plays in the ABL and finding the right chemistry with everyone on the team,” explained Edwards.
“But I think I’ve gotten a little better and tougher, although there’s still some improving to do.
“Winning the game against the Beermen two weeks ago was absolutely huge. Many people expected us to lose but we came together as a team and played the way we’re capable of and that was a great win.
“And I definitely believe we can keep this run going.”
Meanwhile, Dragons coach Ariel Vanguardia has warned his team not to get too excited despite picking up some form.
“Our record is still four wins and four losses and it’s nothing to be excited about. The big game is still to come against the Beermen away from home,” said Vanguardia.