Macau Black Bears, Hong Kong Eastern, and Zamboanga Valientes claim outstanding wins to
close out the final day of the 2023 ABL Invitational.
The Black Bears began the day of a second straight triple-header with a win over Cooly Bangkok
Tigers, 109-58, in a battle between the winless.
The Macau Black Bears controlled the lead and the momentum early on and never looked back
until their first win of the tournament was officially confirmed at the final buzzer. As a team,
they knocked down 19 three-pointers with 6 each from Dequan Abrom and Lao Chon Pong.
Loa had his biggest game yet of his ABL career with 18 points from those three-pointers, though
it would be Jenning Leung who led all local players in scoring with 26 points on 5 three-pointers.
For the import players, Abrom had 31 points off his 6 three-pointers, but it would be Isaiah
Wade who led all scorers with 33 points in this game.
For the Tigers who end their trip to Singapore without a single victory, it was AZ Reid who put
up a full stat line of 36 points, 14 rebounds, and 5 assists.
The second game of the day was another one-sided contest with Hong Kong Eastern continuing
their dominance over the competition in this 101-51 win against Louvre Surabaya.
After four games in Singapore to start the 2023 ABL Invitational campaign, Hong Kong Eastern
are off to a fiery start of 4 straight wins in convincing fashion.
In the win against Louvre Surabaya, coach Pavlicevic was able to rest his key starters and give
minutes to the younger prospects. Even then, their opponents from Indonesia were no match
as they shot 55 percent from the field with 38 field-goals made on 30 assists. They were even
more impressive from the perimeter as they shot 11-17 from beyond the three-point arc.
Five players scored in double-digits for the victors in this game, led by the outstanding play of
local players Leung Ka Hin (21 points, 4 three-pointers made, 6 assists) and Muhammed
Sulaiman Sheikh (18 points, 4-4 three-point shooting).
Louvre Surabaya have now lost their last two games by at least 50 points.
The best game turned out to be saved for last as the Singapore Slingers and Zamboanga
Valientes entertained the OCBC Arena crowd one last time. The home team fans ended up in
disappointment however, as the Valientes completed a 26-point swing to win 87-79.
The Slingers started the game strongly with the play of both CJ Gettys (19 points, 14 rebounds)
and Kentrell Barkley (29 points, 11 rebounds, 5 steals). Their hustle on the glass (23 offensive
boards) resulted in 31 second chance points and helped them build up a lead of as much as 11
points in the first half.
However, Zamboanga Valientes were just a different team coming out of the halftime break,
quickly reversing the score, and building a double-digit lead of their own as early as the third
quarter. They’d continue to hold the lead all the way to the end of the game.
Antonio Hester wrapped up an impressive start to his 2023 ABL Invitational campaign with 28
points on 11-15 shooting, 10 rebounds, 5 assists, and 4 steals in the massive win for the ABL
rookie squad. ABL veteran Rudy Lingganay was also instrumental to the victory with 14 points, 3
rebounds, and 3 assists.
The 2023 ABL Invitational now concludes the first circuit in Singapore as Hong Kong Eastern and
Saigon heat lead all teams with 4-0 records. NS Matrix Malaysia, Singapore Slingers, and
Zamboanga Valientes are close behind, splitting their wins and losses for 2-2 records. Louvre
Surabaya and Macau Black Bears both come away with 1 win and 3 losses, while Cooly Bangkok
Tigers are the only team left winless to start the season.