When New York was about to be invaded by aliens, the Avengers assembled and defended the city and the world from destruction. When disaster looms, Heroes show up and save the day. When Hi-Tech was on the verge of suffering their first loss of the season, Captain Canada (No, not that guy) came up huge in the most crucial time.
28/08/14 HI-TECH BANGKOK CITY 61 – SAIGON HEAT 57
Jerick Canada has been here and there for most of the season for Hi-Tech Bangkok City. He’s an okay scorer, scoring at 10.25 points per game right now, capable of hitting the three point shot, the mid range shot, quick to the basket, and has a nifty floater to get his shot off over taller inside players.
But he hasn’t shown up as THE guy for Hi-Tech Bangkok City, with Chris Charles and Steve Thomas holding that role. Even the locals have taken turns coming up big for Hi-Tech in the past 6 games like Attaporn Lertmalaiporn’s first game scoring barrage or Nakorn Jaisanuk’s overtime three point shooting.
Jerick made sure to show up in this game though, when his team needed him most.
I was at the Saigon Heat office meeting room watching the game with Saigon Heat officials for this game but the internet live feed was pretty much unbearable, freezing every 10 seconds or as it seemed like every time the possession was climaxing. Therefore, I didn’t get to see the moment Jerick Canada made the 3 point shot the would put Bangkok City up 59-57 with 24 seconds left on the clock.
I can imagine how crazily angry that meeting room would have erupted had that live feed been more consistent as the Saigon Heat staff had shown throughout the whole game how passionate they can be. At one point, they were joking around about how I should fear for my life if the Heat lost and sometimes I still wonder if that was actually more of a threat than a joke (Jokes aside, it was a great basketball viewing experience and thanks for the opportunity).
Now, after having watched the game tape, it just hits me how gutsy that shot was. They were down by one point, so a two point shot would have sufficed. A missed shot and loss of possession would have made it a one possession game with the ball in the wrong hands. This kind of shot would make stat geeks and risk evaluators squirm in disapproval. For college basketball geeks, think of the Ali Farokhmanesh shot to sink the Kansas Jayhawks in the second round of 2010 NCAA Basketball tournament.
It was a shot that was unnecessary and if missed, might have cost the game for their team. But on the other hand, if made, it makes you a hero.
And a hero Canada was today.
But that’s not all…
That big shot from Canada was barely the only thing that lifted up his team in this game. Hi-tech Bangkok City had been going through a rough patch in their schedule having played their third game in 5 days. Canada was the only player who had been quite fully rested having not played in the Thailand Basketball League, so it was only natural that many had expected him to carry the offensive load in this game and the past game against the Indonesia Warriors (which I have not been able to compile a recap due to a lack of the full video from the ABL). Jerick played out of his mind in this game with a line of 17 points, 7 assists, 4 rebounds, and only 3 turnovers. He also shot 50% on field goals (6-12) and didn’t miss from the line (4-4). Other than the big shot in waning seconds, Jerick also made perfect passes for two huge threes made by Bandit Lakhan and Wuttipong Dasom.
Rarely do we get a chance to point out a clear cut guy for a Man of the Match honors, but this was one of them.
However, if Canada hadn’t made that big shot, the Heat would have probably won the game and the Man of the Match honors would have probably fallen to David “Viet” Arnold.
Yeah, better believe it bro.
Canada’s 50% field foal shooting might have been impressive, but let’s take a look at David Arnold’s stats.
Arnold shot 9-15 from the field (60%) and 3-4 from behind the three-point line (80%). This is just insanely efficient and it’s not like this is just a one game wonder, Arnold has been doing this all season! If you round up David’s three point shooting percentage from 39.53% to 40%, that would make him, Dior Lowhorn (Singapore Slingers), Chris Eliis (Indonesia Warriors), and Vinton Nolland Suwari (Indonesia Warriors) the only players in the ABL to shoot at least 40% of their field goals and 40% of their three-point shots. What makes it even more impressive is that Arnold has been doing it more consistantly at twice more attempts than Lowhorn and Ellis and thrice more attempts than Suwari.
Arnold might take a whole lot of shots, but he hits a whole lot of them as well.
Who’s that guy?
Hi-tech Bangkok City fans were probably anticipating the return of Wattana “Kanu” Suttisin since there were leaked photos from a Local TV channel scoop about Hi-Tech Bangkok City that saw Suttisin suited up in full Hi-Tech Bangkok City gear. Suttisin is an athletic scorer with a knack for scoring and would be a huge addition to the current roster but suffered a road incident before the start of the season.
He seemed to have recovered well as he played the third place game in the Thailand Basketball League the week before so combining these two facts together, Hi-tech fans were concentrating on the line up announcement at the start of this game.
Instead of getting the return of Bane, we got these two guys clowning around.
So, Thai fans were left in mild disaapoin-
Wait, rewind that line up intro back…
Was that Ryan Le?!
For those who don’t know why the hell we should be surprised, Ryan Le is a volleyball player from Ontario, Canada and he played at the University of Windsor.
If that information still makes no sense, I shall send you off to Youtube.
The video title says 45″ vertical. For reference, Zach Lavine, whose athleticism made scout drool and was drafted 13th by the Minessota Timberwolves last year, measured at a 41.5 vertical at the NBA pre-draft combine. Now i’m not sure about the credibility of the guy that 45″ vertical information, but it’s pretty clear that Ryan Le has got mad hops.
And his nickname is OTB (Oh That Boy), for god’s sake. Long live Ryan Le aka OTB.
However, Ryan is more of a natural Volleyball player than a basketball player so his contributions on the court might still be limited but he has some basketball background and his athleticism is a huge addition to the Saigon Heat bench.
In this game, Ryan came in for 7:15 minutes and provided some good defense on Hi-Tech point guard, Mana Jantuma.
He had a couple of other shot attempts but missed them all, but it seems like he can become a much needed bench contributor for the Saigon Heat in the future.
The live feed for Bangkok City games have been problematic all season, to put it nicely. For fans watching live at the stadium and people who have access to local television, this is not a big problem. But think of the locals who are in other countries and the fans of the away teams. It is a big hit for a sports league if away fans are not able to root for their teams live and it gets frustrating as the season goes on. Some teams have been able to provide excellent live feeds and maybe the ABL should look to those teams to adapt their methods to all teams.
Hi-Tech Bangkok City may look like a fierce and angry team, with the likes of Chris Charles and Steve Thomas throwing down monster putbacks and blocking shots
But who knew that they were just a bunch of sweet and romantic guys?
Coaching is one hell of a drug
Coach Jason Rabadeaux made the line of the day during the halftime interview.
“Hard work out there, this coaching stuff. I want your job.”
True, coaching is a hard job. You can do a hell of a good job and still lose if just one shot doesn’t go your way.
But be real coach, we know you love your job and you wouldn’t want to switch that up right now.
The Saigon Heat will play Laskar Dreya for next game on 31 August at 6:00PM +7GMT at CIS Arena, Vietnam. Laskar will be looking ot finally pull of that 1st ABL win, while the Heat will look to rebound from a heartbreaking loss.
Hi-Tech Bangkok City will look to continue their winning ways as they start their road games against the Singapore Slingers at OCBC Arena, Singapore on 31 August at 4:00PM +8GMT.