The heartwarming thing about two winless teams going up against each other is that eventually, one will go away with a smile on their face and a win in their books.
The sad thing is that the other team will probably feel like being stomped upon after already have fallen down a 20-story building.
The Saigon Heat and Mono Vampires have 0 wins between themselves so it should go without having to say how big of the game it is for both of them. They are the last two teams to have yet to log a win, and by doing so they are taking a step closer to at least make the playoffs.
And it’s not even like either team has been a complete pushover in their losses.
The Saigon Heat looked pretty bad and out of sync without their lead guard, Stefan Nguyen, nursing a back injury. When everyone expected the Westports Malaysia Dragons to come into town to take them down, they dragged the Dragons into overtime in an epic showdown which mirrored last year’s game between the two teams. They were powered by their two World Imports inside, Lenny Daniel and Will Creekmore, who were only a few points and rebounds away from posting 20-20 games.
David Arnold has been handling the point guard duties for the Saigon Heat and you can clearly see that it is really not his natural position, even if he has tried to efficiently perform. News from the Saigon Heat camp is that Stefan Nguyen is now doing some light training, so the possibility of seeing him make his debut against the Mono Vampires is alive.
I wouldn’t expect them to rush him back on to the court, but under the circumstances of this being a must-win game on their third straight home game, they might be desperate enough to do so.
Speaking of third straight…
The Mono Vampires will be playing their fourth straight away game. This is in part their own decision in order to use their own Stadium in the latter part of the season which is under-construction, but whatever the case, it is a very tough schedule. They will be playing FIVE more away games (with one game in Bangkok against Hitech Bangkok City) before playing their first home game on the 12th of December at Chulalongkorn Stadium. If there is any game that should be considered a must-win for them during this ridiculous 9 game road-trip, it is this one against the Saigon Heat.
Turnovers have been a problem for both teams with the shaky point guard position. I won’t be surprised to see the team that has fewer turnovers break the egg in this game.
What the Vampires do have going for them is that they can withstand foul trouble with a deeper bench than the Heat, but if the Heat are able to steer clear of getting whistled, their core of import players should be able to trump the Vampires. Ratdech Kruatiwa has been a three-point shooting machine but the Vampires are going to need more from him if they want this victory, as well as a solid scoring production from Darongphan Apiromwilaichai after a dud in the Slingers game.
It should be an awesome duel between two teams who will be giving it 110% to get their first win in one of the best atmospheres in the ABL at CIS Arena.
TV Channel: N/A
Internet Live Stream: ASEAN Basketball League Youtube Channel
Venue: CIS Arena, Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam
Time: 5:00 PM
Feature Picture: SAJJAD HUSSAIN (Photo credit should read SAJJAD HUSSAIN/AFP/Getty Images)