I didn’t really know much about what to expect coming into this game but the level of unexpectedness of the result was still pretty high.
With all due respect, I didn’t really expect much from the Pilipinas Kings in this game because of their well-documented problems with management. You might think that as a basketball player you don’t have to worry much about who manages the team and that all you need to do is go out and do your job. But try thinking of them as a normal office worker. How would you feel if you heard that the upper management of your company was making big changes?
These guys are all playing for pay and once the situation with the guys who signs the checks get shaky, you get shaky as well.
Final Score: Hitech Bangkok City 86 – MX3 Pilipinas Kings 64
Game Replay: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qDlzRgmDv3A
There’s not much to talk about what went on in this game.
The Kings tried to keep it close, but since losing the lead around the 3rd minute of the first quarter, Hitech just left them in the dust and never looked back.
Hitech Bangkok City piled on the score with slick ball movement from everyone. The imports passed the ball around. The locals fully understood where to move and when the extra pass needed to be made. The Pilipinas Kings surely made it easy with their loose defense in this game, but Hitech Bangkok City still needed to have a good understanding among themselves to pull this sort of offense through.
Another thing that Hitech did well was to crash the offensive boards. They collected a total of 22 offensive rebounds which means they had an offensive rebounding percentage of 46.8% which translate to “OH MY GOD SOMEBODY BOX THEM OUT“. For the Kings, I understand that Tyler Lamb is pretty athletic and tall, but there’s no excuse for letting him getting a tip in basket this easily.
Another point for the Kings that went bad early on was the foul trouble of Jerramy King. I doubt that Jerramy King could have completely changed the game, but the Kings weren’t exactly ruling without King (+1000 points for using this phrase) after he commited his third foul only a shade over five minutes within the game.
The game was well beyond reach by the time King got to get back into the game and play significant minutes, but we got to see glimpses of his scoring prowess which could have helped AZ Reid pick up the slack on offense.
Hitech went on cruise control and they were able to field a lot of their minutes for their locals (43% of their total minutes) as they saw their lead peak at 32 before cooling down to the final 86-64 scoreline.
It’s hard to really take something serious out this game. At this point, with all that is going around with the Kings management, the Kings right now are probably going to be a whole different team than they will be later. Any team scout should probably put an asterisk on this game.
But at least that now Coach Jack Santiago has tasted his game in the ABL, he should know what adjustments he will have to make headed into their next game.
As for Hitech Bangkok City, they scored on lucky timing to catch this team at this exact moment. The locals were able to get quality playing time and gain confidence, while the Imports also got to rest themselves up a bit as well.
What I liked and didn’t like
- Rise of the High Riser
After a DNP in the Mono Vampire game and a bad outing in the season opener against the Singapore Slingers, Wuttipong Dasom finally went back to his former self.
Dasom had better movement away from the ball and got hit with a decent number of good passes. He also displayed good footwork in the post and did a better job at finishing that the past few games. He’s butterballed one glorious halfcourt through pass from Freddie Goldstein, but Hitech should be pleased that their star local is coming back into form.
- The Ever Entertaining Charles Mammie
Charles Mammie is averaging 11.0 points and 12.0 rebounds which sounds okay until you find out that his eFG% stands at only 35.1%. Small gunners like Wong Wei Long (31.6 eFG%) and Jason Brickman (30.5 eFG%) can get away with such low scoring efficiency because of tendency to score further away from the basket. Mammie on the other hand scores solely on dunks, layups, and hook shots around the painted area. If you are big and operate only in the painted area, hovering around 50 eFG% isn’t remarkable; it’s pretty much your responsibility to achieve those numbers.
But where Mammie has lacked as an efficient scorer, he at least is an entertainment on the court. Aside from his thunderous emphatic dunks (which he has had plenty) that are followed by a flamboyant display of celebration, Mammie knows how to rile up the audience by picking fights.
We saw Mammie have some words with Anthony McClain back in the first game the Kings (then Pilipinas Aguilas) played the Mono Vampires. In this game, we saw him tussle and tumble with Steve Thomas. Thomas would lose his head and retaliate with a push, but the majority of the game, Thomas let his game do the talking likewise to how Anthony McClain responded.
I also mentioned that it was cool how McClain and Mammie met on the plane out of Davao and locked in a nice friendly conversation even after their on court altercations. I was funny to see in this game against Hitech as well when Mammie would walk to the Hitech bench from time to time to apologize to Thomas, who was now rested on the bench.
Mammie and Thomas have both played quite a while in the Philippines, so they know that besides the thrill of basketball itself, fans love to see players spilling out emotions at each other. Or in others words, on the brink of getting into fights.
Maybe it’s all just a stunt to please the crowd.
- AZ Reid is bored
Sometimes, I feel like AZ Reid is more of a mythical creature. His dreadlocks are thing of wonder and they sway left and right with his every movement. He can take (and make) absurdly long three point shots while being able to post up like a power forward. And every once in a while, he does the unexpected.
Keep doing whatever it is you are doing AZ.
- Hello, San Juan
I got my first taste of Philippines in the ABL at Davao which was a similar experience to losing my virginity where it really wasn’t all that great but memorable nonetheless. This game didn’t have the excitement of travelling as the Davao game, but the experience at San Juan Arena was just as entertaining.
Once I arrived at the gym, I was greeted by my most favorite mascot, King Angry Mangosteen!
I was mostly pleased to see that the people of San Juan Arena were so kind to specially customize my seat on the Hitech Bangkok City bench for me.
You shouldn’t have. Like seriously. You shouldn’t have.
- ABL Homecoming
Because of the always entertaining ASEAN import rule, there are plenty of Filipinos who have graced the battlefield that is the ABL. Among those are Stanley Pringle (Indonesia Warriors), Jerick Canada (Indonesia Warriors/Hitech Bangkok City), and Froilan Baguion (Philippines Patriots/Chang Thai Slammers/San Miguel Beermen/SportsRev Thailand Slammers/Saigon Heat) who were all in attendance in this game to see their former team mates play.
Stanley Pringle is now a PBA superstar, playing for Globalport Batang Pier (where Steve Thomas played briefly for last summer).
Jerick Canada now plays for Blackwater Elite (where Chris Charles was supposed to play for earlier this year).
Froilan Baguion doesn’t play in the PBA anymore, but he has found some stints in other Semi-Pro leagues like the DeLeague.
The MX3 Pilipinas Kings will be looking at a shot to regroup and gather themselves as they play another home game next as hosts against the Singapore Slingers. The Slingers are a well-oiled machine so if the Kings don’t clean up their act, it could possibly be another wipe out early on. By the time this article is published, the Kings will have finished their game against the Slingers and will be awaiting at home to play the Mono Vampires on the 27th of November.
Hitech Bangkok City will be hosting the Saigon Heat in what should be a match up that won’t be worrying them too much. The following schedule after the Saigon Heat game will be at home again against the visiting Singapore Slingers, a team that gave them some trouble in the season opener, on the 29th.