Black Bears, Eastern bounce back for crucial wins to wrap trips in KL

As we head closer and closer to the last circuit of the 2023 ABL Invitational, each win becomes
more consequential. That’s how it must have felt as the Macau Black Bears and Hong Kong
Eastern won on day 5 of the Kuala Lumpur circuit.

The Black Bears, fuming off a two-game losing streak, took charge against the competition
cellar dwellers Louvre Surayaba, leaving them in dust for a 93-59 win.
The lead quickly ballooned to as much as 18 points right in the first quarter and kept rising until
as much as 39 points towards the end of the game.



After being forced to short rotations in the previous games, the Black Bears were able to deploy
all of their 12 troops in this game and each responded by scoring at least one field goal.
Four players, Dequan Abrom (16 points), Isaiah Wade (15 points, 10 rebounds, 5 steals), Ieong
Kei Long (14 points), and Jenning Leung (11 points), had already scored in double-digits right in
the first half as the team cruised along to the victory.

Louvre Surabaya finally got Alouine Tew back in action and he had a monstrous game on the
board with 16 rebounds but was limited to only 6 points. It was instead Jamarr Johnson who
lead the team in scoring with 16 points, followed by Marcus Hammond (13 points) and Yericho
Tuasela (10 points).

The loss drops Louvre Surabaya to 1-9 in the standings, making them mathematically unable to
qualify for the Playoffs at this point with 4 games left.

The Macau Black Bears improve to 5-6 with the win, putting them back in 5 th place in the
standings while also applying pressure to those also in the race to make the Playoffs.
That pressure is now felt on Zamboanga Valientes after they suffered a devastating loss to Hong
Kong Eastern, 83-55.

Coming off a frustrating loss to the Saigon Heat, Hong Kong Eastern took the lead early on and
never looked back. Coach Pavlicevic was able to balance out his offense and minute in this
game, but his core four of O’Darien Bassett (18 points, 6 assists), Chris McLaughlin (17 points,
19 rebounds), Tonny Trocha Morelos (13 points, 7 rebounds), and Dominic Gilbert (13 points,7
rebounds) were still able to log over 30 minutes in this game.

Zamboanga Valientes shot only 25 percent as a team in this game and were outrebounded 54-
35, which would one expect with leading scorer and rebounder Antonio Hester unavailable for
action. Mario Chalmers took charge in this game, leading the team with 19 points.



Zamboanga miss the opportunity to gain some ground on the Singapore Slingers for their
desired 4 th spot in the standings, dropping to 5-5. Similarly, Hong Kong Eastern escaped

dropping down further away from the top of the standings and now hold a 7-3 record in 3 rd

Louvre Surabaya will go right back into action on Wednesday, February 8 against the Singapore
Slingers to wrap up their stay in Kuala Lumpur.

The remaining three teams in action today can now shift their focus to the Vietnam circuit,
which will be played from 12-18 February.

The Black Bears shall play immediately on opening day against the hosts Saigon heat on
February 12.

Zamboanga Valientes will wait a bit longer until February 13 to face Louvre Surabaya, and will
immediately get going on the next day February 14 against Hong Kong Eastern coming from a
long break.