I had quite some praise for PEA and Jabril Bailey the last time I wrote about them, so you can imagine how shocked I was when I learned that his contract with PEA had ended and that they would be going into this game against the most loaded team in the BTSL without an import player. This wasn’t going to end well.
Spoiler Alert: It didn’t end well.
BTSL 15/03/2015: PEA 80 : Nakhon Pathom Madgoat 102
Let’s be honest with ourselves. We didn’t give PEA a chance in this game. The chances would have been slim, even with Jabril Bailey. PEA winning this game without Jabril Bailey would take a miracle.
And yet at the end of the first half, PEA were down by only 3 points. If only Todsapit Lungsui had his his buzzer beating breakaway layup, it would have been a one point game.
PEA stayed well within shooting range of this game with the three point shooting of the team, namely Patiparn Krutsorn, who nailed 7 three pointers en route to 23 points.
It’s not like he was dribbling around going Hero Ball and shooting the lights out though. Most of his shots were a result of PEA swinging the ball and that’s what is most impressive. Most of the time, PEA’s offense will seem like they hit a dead end and are left in a standstill. But in some occasions, however scarce they are to come by, that the offense runs as it should, it’s really easy on the eyes.
Take a Breather
As much as I’d love to give full credit to PEA for keeping it close for a half, the Madgoats had a hand in this as well. After running their stars Michael Fey and “JO” Ratchadech Kruatiwa for the entire first quarter, they sat out the entire second quarter and the other 3 starters missed out a large chunk of time in the second quarter as well. This certainly gave the starters a nice rest and it should when they were playing around during half time.
Not to say that the Madgoats bench were so bad that they let PEA come close. The lack of Fey’s size inside and JO’s size on the perimeter made the match-ups more easier to live with for PEA.
But the bench squad of the Madgoats is nothing to laugh about. I could go through how good each of them are, but that would take up too much writing space. Instead, I shall focus on one of my most favorite players off the bench for the Madgoats.
“Jeng” Tawatchai Suktab is a tweener forward who usually comes off the bench for the Madgoats. Recently, he just won he MVP award for the Internal Basketball Tournament for the Thai Army (IBTA).
Note for foreigners: Do not joke about that feat. The IBTA is big enough for the Basketball Thailand Super League (BTSL) to have taken a weekend off because their schedules collided. Most of the professional basketball players in Thailand are a part of some military force and therefore the level of competition is not something to laugh about.
Jeng likes to do his work in the post, where he uses his footwork and herky jerky moves to find a way to get a good shot up.
Jeng does his damage inside, but that doesn’t mean he can’t do any damage from outside either. Here he shows his range from 3 point land while breaking the century mark for the first time in the BTSL.
Basketball is like Sex. Size isn’t everything, but it sure is useful. As mentioned, Michael Fey sat out the 2nd quarter where the Madgoats saw PEA bomb three point shots (unofficial count: 7 made 3-point shots in the second half.) to keep the game within 3 points.
Then the Madgoats sent Michael Fey in. I’m not saying Michael Fey won the game, but his size definitely made a big difference in the third quarter. If you remember me featuring him last time, we saw him exhibit his mid-range game against a bigger Mono Vampires team. Once he got sent into this game, he was sent to the lower left post in consecutive plays, converting two dunks.
And just as you thought that that would be enough, the Madgoats released another Giant.
Literally. The Madgoats sent on “Yak” Chaiwat Gaedum. “Yak” is translated to Giant in thai, and a Giant is certainly what Chaiwat is. Chaiwat is a combination of height and size which has been crucial to the national teams of Thailand in the past. His age and size does make the Madgoats more vulnerable in transition defense and he is usually slower than the others to get down. His effect on the offensive side more than makes up for that.
In a Thailand Basketball league where size is hard to come by, it is a blessing for the Madgoats that they are able to send out an inside combination like Yak and Fey. Both of them can bang it down in the low post and can operate in the high post and you can see in the video that they do both while they’re on the floor. This adds a whole new dimension for the Madgoats offense.
However, you can also see a lot of times that the offense is forced to burn a couple of seconds of the shot clock while they wait for Yak to make his way up the court. I guess you have to give some to get some.
In my Opinion
In this part, I talk about the things I liked and did not like from watching this game.
1. Trash Talk: In a recent article, I had questioned the league’s insistence to start the game off with a head to head interview and handshake a la the start of a boxing match. I felt like it was super cheesy and unnecessary. I changed my mind after watching this game. I am now totally in for this kind of introduction as long as the players trash talk like this.
For those who do not speak the native tongue (I need to start learning how to do subtitles):
The first guy, Todsapit Lungsui, say that “We’re here in Nakhon Pathom, and we’re not just here to go sight seeing”. Nakhon Pathom, the home court of the Madgoats, are a tad bit further away from Bangkok than the rest of the other teams. Lungsui just declared that he’s here for business.
The second guy, Tawatchai Suktab, replied with “Well, that’s what the last team said when they came here as well. They went back home crying rivers.”
This is all poorly translated Thai > English, but just understand that it was just plain awesome trash talking (albeit a bit staged).
2. Point Guard JO: After the last article about the Madgoats came out, some people took it as me criticising that JO was shooting to much. And I totally was. That’s just how I saw it in that game and I still meant everything I wrote. I love JO shooting mode, butI loved the version of JO that played in this game against PEA way much more. He took shots within the rhythm of the games and when he seemed like the shots weren’t falling, he took less shots and started facilitating more. JO “the facilitator” is as much fun as JO “the shooter” because he is so immensely talented to be both.
3. PEA’s Mystery Man: After the game, the PEA front office were quick to answer the questions about the import situation. Jabril Bailey’s contract was expired. The Front office probably saw that all the other teams had bigger imports and decided that that was probably the way to go. So they announced that they will have a new import coming in for the revenge game against the Madgoats again on the 21st of March.
This easily makes this the Matchup of the weekend. If PEA can beat the Madgoats with this unknown incoming force, it will put pressure on the Mono Vampires who are currently 3rd in the league to not miss a step to jeopardize the chance of advancing the International Round.
This weekend the BTSL will have 2 games with the schedule as follows:
Saturday, 21 March: PEA vs. Nakhon Pathom Madgoat @ LED Building
Sunday, 22 March: Thew Phai Ngarm vs. Hi-Tech @ Siam University
The games will be played from 2PM to 4PM local time on their respective dates and can be viewed live at Channel 3 Family.
Please support this league by liking their Facebook page as per the embed picture above.
Pictures by Kuk Ornvisa Thewphaingarm