2019 MPL D League Game Day 15 Recap (11/5/19)
It’s yet another day of upsets in the MPL Development League (D-League). This time its the Kuching Lord Tiger who dig their claws into Titijaya on Game Day 15 to keep themselves very much in the chase for the playoffs. On the other hand, the Miri Firehorse inched a step closer to the knockouts after clinching a resounding win over winless GoStrong.
Kuching Lord Tiger 75 Titijaya 65
There’s a saying, that a wounded tiger is at its most dangerous. And Lord Tiger were certainly licking their wounds after letting slip a 20-point lead to lose to Sarawakian rivals Miri Firehorse on Game Day 14.
The wounded tiger certainly roared, loud and deep, at its unfortunate foe of the day – Titijaya, in what is quite rightly a big upset.
On paper, Titijaya had enough experience and firepower to put away Lord Tiger and bolster their own playoff chances.
And having started the day in contention for the top two seeding, the Ampang-club who have already beaten Lord Tiger once (72-67) earlier this season, picked up where they left off as they raced to a 21-15 first quarter lead.
But Lord Tiger slowly found their rhythm and seven points from Khoo Yik Hock and another five by rotation guard Kuan Shean Lin saw them go into the halftime break only trailing 33-35.
And then leading scorer Andy Jong, who already had eight points in the first half, took over in the third quarter with 12 huge points came out after the break with some big plays to overturn the scoreline for a 58-47 lead.
Titijaya would attempt to muster a comeback but with Syahrul Ridzuan Rosli off-colour, they would fall short as Lord Tiger picked up an all important win to boost their chances of making the playoffs.
Andy, despite playing with swollen eyes, would lead the scoring with 24 points from 10-20 from the field while Yik Hock had a breakout game with 14 points while Tan Wei Nkun also put up an impressive showing with 12 markers.
The win improved Lord Tiger’s record to 2-4 for the season and they need to win three of their remaining four games in order to progress.
Meanwhile Syahrul led Titijaya with 13 points and 12 rebounds but turned the ball over 9 times for another inconsistent display.
The defeat is yet another big setback for Titijaya who now fall to 4-3 for the season and have been dragged into the scramble for the playoffs.
Player of the Game: Andy Jong (24 points, 4 steals, 2 rebounds)
Playoff factor: Titijaya’s defeat means KL Dragons automatically seal the No. 1 seed without seeing any action in Week Six.
Miri Firehorse 91 GoStrong 45
What a turnaround it has been for the Firehorse. After a 1-4 run for the first half of the season, they have turn it on to go on a three match upswing.
The blowout win over GoStrong also means they have virtually put one foot through the door whilst also officially eliminating the Subang-club in the process.
Buoyed by their big Sarawakian derby win over Lord Tiger on Game Day 14, the Firehorse were eager to get the job done against a rather hapless GoStrong.
They certainly set the right tone as they raced into a 24-10 first quarter lead before extending it to 37-20 at halftime.
With Friday’s hero John Tang and leading scorer Eddie Wong given some much needed bench time, it was the rotation players who were given the chance to take over for Firehorse.
And they certainly showed strength in numbers as they ran rings around GoStrong to lead 61-32 after the third period before comfortably taking the 46-point win in the end.
Alvin Lau Bik Jie, who has struggled with sickness and a bit of injury, enjoyed his best outing in the league with dominant showing in the paint for 22 points and 17 rebounds.
Rotation players Josh Wong and Chew Yun Sheng also enjoyed a strong run, finishing with 21 and 16 markers respectively.
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