2019 MPL D League Day 11 Recap
The MPL Development League (D-League) is back in action and what a day it’s been. Game Day 11 was not short of surprises with the Westports Malaysia Dragons claiming a superb overtime win over league leaders Red Baron Youth while VAG popped their cherry by taking their first win of the season at the expense of Titijaya.
Westports Malaysia Dragons 68 Red Baron Youth 65
What a game this was. The Westports Malaysia Dragons came into this match on a shaky run of form – they were just bad offensively. On the other hand, Red Baron have been impressive in building up a 7-1 record to sit on top of the league table.
Yet it was the Dragons who delivered probably their best performance of the season, backed by some Leong Kar Fatt heroics as they nicked an upset win.
The first quarter was a tight affair with both teams not giving up much ground before a timely three-pointer by Tan Wei Long handed a 15-12 lead to the Dragons.
They did enough to hold on for a 32-30 halftime lead and slowly edged ahead in the third as they caught scent of a win.
But Red Baron fought back in the fourth with Ng Zhen Yu converting a tough layup to hand them a 57-56 lead with 27 seconds left on the clock.
Wei Long then had an opportunity to take the win for the Dragons but he only managed to split two free-throws as the league went into its first overtime match.
And that was where Kar Fatt stepped up big as he scored all of the Dragons’ 11 OT points to take a well-deserved win.
The Sabahan would eventually finish with 17 points while Wei Long (15 pts, 16 rebs) and Connor Chua (10 pts, 11 rebs) both had double-doubles.
Red Baron were paced by Ng Zhen Yu with 12 points while Keng Eng Hong had 11 markers off the bench.
The win sees the Dragons improve to 4-2 for the season while Red Baron are pegged back at 7-2.
Player of the Game: Leong Kar Fatt (17 points, 6 rebounds)
Clutch factor: Kar Fatt stepping up with 11 big points in overtime.
Livestats :- https://www.fibalivestats.com/u/MABA/1123048/
VAG 65 Titijaya 57
This is just not the result anyone would have expected. Titijaya were on a hot-run of form having won their last three matches and looked like serious title contenders.
VAG on the other side have struggled badly in the league in terms of results. They’ve played five and lost five although one might get a gut feeling their rotten luck was bound to end soon.
And the Klang-based team couldn’t pick a better time to nail their maiden victory, stunning the much favoured Titijaya with a hardworking and spirited display.
After a scrappy opening exchange, it was Titijaya who first flexed their muscles as they broke out into a 21-14 first quarter lead.
The Ampang-club however opted to bench main man Syahrul Ridzuan Rosli for most of the second period and it backfired badly as VAG ramped it up to lead 31-30 at the break.
It was even steven in the third as both team tied at 49-all, setting it up for a winner-takes-all showdown in the fourth.
And as Titijayas offence failed to connect, VAG, sensing victory, struck them hard as they outscored and defended in solid numbers to finally get their first win on the board.
Tan Kim Yeow came alive in the second half as he finished with 16 points and 9 rebounds for VAG. He was also given a lot of help by the tireless backcourt performances of Tan Ching Wei who finished with 12 points and Lee Kok Loon who sank 10 markers.
Syahrul led Titijaya with 14 points in a much subdued performance while Kwan Jo Ee and captain Wong Hon Ming both had 13 points each.
With the win, VAG improved to 1-5 for the season although they still have a lot to do to earn a playoff spot. Titijaya on the other hand slump to 4-2.
Player of the Game: Tan Kim Yeow (16 points,, 9 rebounds, 3 assists, 3 steals)
Numbers factor: VAG simply outscored Titijaya from the bench (22-7) and were more efficient on the fast break as well (22-12).
Livestats :- https://www.fibalivestats.com/u/MABA/1123049/
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