2019 MPL D League Day 10- 15/4/2019 Recap
Another day of action in the MPL Development League (D-League) with some pretty exciting outcomes. The big result of the day was Titijaya taking their third straight win and marking themselves as true title contenders while the KL Dragons also stay very strong by keeping their unbeaten record intact.
Red Baron Youth 121 GoStrong 56
Red Baron are smarting from the shock of getting beaten by Titijaya on Game Day 9. It wasn’t a good loss and the manner in which they lost wasn’t very inspiring.
Thus they needed a big result to get themselves back on track and who better to vent their frustrations on other then D-League whipping boys GoStrong.
The Subang-based club, apart from some flashes of brilliance, has really struggled with the higher level of competition in the league.
And they were really there for the taking as Red Baron, despite resting several regulars like Keng Eng Hong, Ng Zhen Yu, Yap Zhi Wei and Goh Yan Qing, still managed to pound them really hard.
Red Baron’s strength in the competition comes from having a really deep squad with good talents.
And the second stringers really stepped up when given the chance. After all, who doesn’t want a chance to impress in order to earn more minutes.
It was a blitz right from the start as Red Baron started aggressive and looked to cut out all of GoStrong’s passing routes.
Without Rais Davin Beg, GoStrong had no ball handler and the relentless pressure by Red Baron forced them into submission time and over repeatedly.
It wasn’t much of a contest in the end but Red Baron will be pleased with themselves for getting things done the right way without losing focus.
Wong Thiam Mun stepped up when called upon to finish with 19 points while Poh Chee Hoa and Fong Hao Seng also put in good shifts scoring 18 and 14 markers respectively.
Player of the Game: Wong Thiam Mun (19 points, 7 steals, 5 rebounds)
Facepalm moment: GoStrong dishing out the ball to Red Baron from their own inbound after conceding.
Livestats :- https://www.fibalivestats.com/u/MABA/1123045/
Titijaya 62 Westports Malaysia Dragons 43
Titijaya had flexed their muscles when they took down the previously unstoppable Red Baron on Game Day 9.
With their experience, taking out the rather inexperienced Westports Dragons would be very in order.
Dragons’ head Adrian Wong had already acknowledged Titijaya’s prowess and wanted his boys to go out there and make things tough for the Ampang club.
And for two quarters, the Dragons stuck to the game plan like glue as they executed every play almost down to perfection.
They took their chances when it came and they limited the production of Titijaya’s main dangerman Syahrul Ridzuan Rosli whilst also frustrating pretty much everyone else.
But things just went south after the halftime break as the Dragons just forgot the gameplan.
They only made one basket in the third period – a hook shot by Phan Ji Feng – and completely crumbled in the fourth period.
With Titijaya looking to pull away after building a 43-32 lead, the Dragons pretty assisted them as they handed out turnovers in quick succession as Syahrul and veteran gunner Ho Yeow Loong compounded their misery.
The 30-year-old Yeow Loong still proved to be a hotshot as he fired off 18 points to lead the scoring while Syahrul had a quieter outing but still managed 15 points.
For the Dragons, their main scoring came through point guard Leong Kar Fatt who sank 12 markers from 4-12 shooting.
The win improved Titijaya’s record to 4-1 for the season and moved them up to third in the table while the Dragons now drop to 3-2 for the season.
Player of the Game: Ho Yeow Loong (18 points, 4 steals, 2 rebounds)
Camera factor: Syahrul Ridzuan Rosli and Tan Goh Jiar Yang with perfect hair even after the game.
Livestats :- https://www.fibalivestats.com/u/MABA/1123046/
KL Dragons 92 VAG 67
The Dragons may have won 5 on the trot prior to this matchup but head coach Ee Kee Lip was flipping at his team’s defensive efforts.
His team of superstars were certainly slow to get the message across as they looked sluggish to start against a winless VAG.
The Klang-team gave neutrals much to hope for in the first five minutes as they took the fight to the Dragons.
But that was as far as they got as the Dragons awoken from the slumber and started to breathe fire.
They quickly upped the tempo to lead 46-32 at halftime and there was really no turning back from there at that point.
Despite the defensive vulnerabilities, the Dragons can certainly shoot and shoot well. So they did what they did best – put the ball in the net.
There was really no way VAG, who are struggling at this level, could hope to stop the Dragons in the zone.
And in the end it proved to be a comfortable victory for the Dragons as they improve to 6-0 to keep up the pressure on league leaders Red Baron.
Tan Wei Jie, back from illness and in his first start of the campaign, put up a dominant display with 24 points while fellow Melakan Wee Yong Gan continued his hot shooting exploits with 22 points.
The Dragons also had Joshua Gan firing 20 markers while Hung Ing Wai put in a decent shift with 11 points.
For VAG, Tan Kim Yeow led the points with 17 markers while Lee Kok Loon dropped 16 points.
Player of the Game: Wee Yong Gan (22 points, 5 rebounds, 5 assists)
Melakan factor: Always good to see Tan Wei Jie back in action and he combined well with fellow Melakan Yong Gan for another high scoring game.
Livestats :- https://www.fibalivestats.com/u/MABA/1123047/
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