Dragons survives relentless Mono Vampire

Almost, but not quite.

The Mono Vampire Basketball Club remain the only winless team in the Asean Basketball League after coming up short against the Westports Malaysia Dragons on Saturday. The Dragons were able to carve out a victory over the Vampires, 68-64, on their home floor at the MABA Stadium in Malaysia.

“You gotta credit Mono. They’re a good team,” Dragons Head Coach Ariel Vanguardia said after the game. “We really dodged a bullet there.”

At first, it seemed that the Dragons were on their way to an easy victory after a commanding 18-9 opening period. Mono tried to fight their way back in the second quarter, but the momentum of the game was clearly favoring the Dragons.

Matthew Wright already had 13 points, including 4-for-9 from the three-point area, helping Malaysia into a 41-32 lead by halftime. The Fil-Canadian guard ended up with 22 points, but he also needed 22 shot attempts.

Mono came roaring back in the second half with a 21-10 third period, setting up a free-for-all fourth quarter. The two teams went back and forth up until the dying minutes of the game.

Darangpan Apiromvilachai gave Mono a 64-62 lead with less than three minutes to go over the defense of Malaysia. The Thailand guard was a perfect 6-for-6 in the first two quarters for 14 points, but he was limited to only four points come the second half.

After a split at the line by Dragon import Calvin Godfrey, Matthew Wright attacked the teeth of the Mono defense and unleashed a high-looping floater to give his team the lead, 65-64.

Tian Yuan Kuek shut out all hopes of a Mono victory as he buried a cold blooded triple towards the end of the contest.

“In my mind I just wanted to make the shot and win,” said Kuek.

The Mono Vampire Basketball Club experienced heartache and disappointment for the fifth straight time. This was another game that they were one or two possessions away from getting the victory.

Their next chance to score win number one is against the new-look Pilipinas MX3 Kings on November 27 in the Philippines.

The Westports Malaysia Dragons meanwhile carry their 4-1 record to Vietnam as they face the Saigon Heat this Saturday, November 28.