Both the Saigon Heat and Hong Kong Eastern wrap up the Vietnam circuit with wins as the
qualified teams now shift their focus to the playoffs.
One of those qualified teams is Hong Kong Eastern who bagged a second consecutive win over
the Bangkok Tigers 75-66.
Eastern led through most of the game as Coach Pavlicevic took the opportunity to rest O’Darien
Basset. Dominic Gilbert responded with one of his best games yet in the ABL Invitational with
near triple double, 25 points, 21 rebounds, and 7 assists. Chris McLaughlin also helped by
dominating the paint and ended up with a game-high 27 points and 14 rebounds.
Both teams shot poorly from downtown with only three three-pointers made on each end.
Eastern’s points in the paint spelled the difference, 56-30.
The Bangkok Tigers had four players scoring in double digits led by Augustus Sont’s 19 points
followed by William Freeman’s 13 and 21 rebounds.
It was a much more lopsided game later in the day as Saigon Heat treated the fans to a 97-35
routing of Louvre Surabaya to end the Saigon circuit.
The game went quickly out of hand as the Saigon Heat jumped to a 36-11 lead immediately in
the first quarter and, if it wasn’t over then, the door was surely shut when Louvre were held to
only 4 points in the third quarter. The Indonesian side eventually ended up scoring 10 points in
the last half of their first ABL Invitational appearance.
Evan Gilyard led the Saigon Heat with 20 points, but the fans clamored around the career-high
13 points from local player Nguyen Anh Kiet who also had 13 rebounds, 3 assists, and 2 steals.
Aside from Gilyard and Nguyen, the Heat also saw four other players score in double-digits
including Tran Dang Khoa (14 points), Tim Waale (14 points), Hasan Thomas (12 points), and Vo
Ban Kim (12 points).
Jamarr Johnson was the lone player to pass the 10-point mark for Louvre Surabaya with 11
points to his name.
Both The Bangkok Tigers and Louvre Surabaya finish their debut appearances in the ABL
Invitational with 1-13 records.
Hong Kong Eastern finish with a 10-4 record, seeding them third as they are at a head-to-head
disadvantage to second seed NS Matrix, also 10-4.
The Saigon Heat clinch the top seed with an 11-3 record, which means they face the fourth
seed Singapore Slingers who finished the competition at 9-5.