It might have been the second time these two teams were playing and while the Mono Vampires lost the last game, they had a reason to feel a good vibe coming into this one.
Hitech Bangkok City were coming off a horrible loss to the Singapore Slingers. The Mono Vampires were coming off their first win. With both teams going in different directions on the momentum scale, maybe — just maybe — the Vampires could pull it off.
Tyler Lamb had other plans.
Final Score: Hitech Bangkok City 77 – Mono Vampires 65
Before you say anything, I will be changing the format of my game recaps. Personally, I felt they were getting too boring and stepping away from why I started writing this blog in the first place. Hope you enjoy it anyways!
Tyler Lamb doesn’t leave a bad taste in the mouth to last long as he overcame a horrendous effort against the Singapore Slingers and turned that disappointment into fire for this game against the Mono Vampires. He was showing off his athleticism that had been absent in his previous games while getting in touch with his shooting once again.
The Vampires made a push to make it a game in the second quarter but couldn’t keep up the pace going. It was Ratdech Kruatiwa who tied the game up with his three point shot at 34 points early in the third, but he went cold on a few heat checks after that and next thing you know, Hitech went off an 11-0 run and put the game away for good.
What I liked and didn’t like
- Leaping Lambs
Since the start of the season, Tyler Lamb has shown that he is a smooth scorer and a good shooter. However, he’s never been the one to show off that he can jump out of the gym. His dunks in this game weren’t exactly gravity defying, but it’s nice to see that Tyler Lamb has some springs.
That putback dunk didn’t count, but it was pretty sick nonetheless.
To be fair, the Mono Vampires did a good job at executing their game plan in the first half. One of the most important things was to get either Chris Charles/Steve Thomas into foul trouble. And Mono Vampire Team Manager wasn’t shy to express how thrilled he was about reaching that target with Chris Charles picking up his 3rd foul in the second quarter:
It would have been more interesting if they could have forced Charles into an earlier 4th foul, but they couldn’t and Charles turned out to be an important piece in Hitech Bangkok City’s crucial 11-0 run.
- Run & Gun
It was interesting in the second quarter when Kannut Samerjai came in and scored 6 straight points off fastbreaks. It was even more interesting when he was subbed out not long after. Samerjai was the one that sparked the comeback attempt for the Mono Vampires. Samerjai has been reportedly nagged with back injuries, so that possibly could be the Vampires limiting his minutes.
Weird timing, but understandable.
- Defining Moments
There was this one random moment during the third quarter which I felt really defined the game.
This sequence didn’t really mean that much in numbers as it only ended in two points on a simple basket without any fouls on either sides, but it was the determination of Hitech Bangkok City to put the ball into the basket that stoodout and just expressed how much they wanted this victory.
No real surprise that Steve Thomas was the one to finish this off.
- New Kid on the Block
It’s been really fun seeing these ABL teams giving chance to young players like Singapore Slingers (Leon Kwek, Delvin Goh), KL Dragons (Yi Hou Wong), and Mono Vampires (Sorot Sunthornsiri). Hitech Bangkok City has took it to another level when they fielded 18-year-old Chanathip Jakrawan into the game. Chanathip is a towering 6’5″ player and has shown that he has good sense on the defensive end and has a pretty good midrange touch. He’s still very raw right now so you can’t really expect him to play at the levels of the other youngsters mentioned above, but if he continues to get the exposure, he could be an important player for Hitech Bangkok City (and ultimately, the National Team) in the future.
The Hitech Bangkok City veterans seemed very keen to get the rookie prepared once he was about to make his debut.
Jakrawan missed out on getting himself on the positive side of the box score as he fouled on his way to his first rebound. Sadly, that meant he would miss out on a “trillion” as well.
- It’s all good
This might be one of the most heated rivalries in the ABL once it gets more time to materialize, but it’s heartwarming to see that it rarely gets over to the dark side in terms of physicality.
In the end, all of these players are all of the same nationality and have been team mates at least once at some part of their basketball careers. It was fun to see that at least Ratdech Kruatiwa and Sukdave Ghogar were cheerful enough to engage in this late game massage session at the free throw line.
By the Numbers
The Mono Vampires turned the ball over 20 times in this game, and it would be the 4th game this season that they have recorded at least 20 turnovers. They have 7 players averaging at least 2 turnovers per game right now. They could be making about half of their shots (50% shooting is pretty high) but if they are still turning the ball over at this rate…it could still be a pretty close game (as seen in their win against the Pilipinas Kings).
Freddie Goldstein and Tyler Lamb are the two main ball-handler’s on this Hitech Bangkok City team. They average a total of 4.7 turnovers per game. In their recent lost, they combined for 10 turnovers. In this game, they recorded 0 turnovers in total, which also happens to be how many turnovers they had in their game against the MX3 Pilipinas Kings where they looked really good on offense.
Hitech is scary good when these two can keep the ball in their hands.
I had expected Hitech Bangkok City to rebound back strong in this game especially because it was against the Mono Vampires and that’s exactly what they did. Tyler Lamb was quick to put everyone’s worries away about his performance in the last game as well.
However, Hitech showed a slight weakness with their transition defense in this game. Mono Vampires were able to push the tempo and score for a brief while, and if they had been able to keep up that tempo, I might be writing this article from a different angle.
The Mono Vampires couldn’t continue the momentum of their first win and took a pretty hard beating against their rivals in this game. 7 games in and those “good losses” against Hitech (first game) and against the KL Dragons will only hold up their morale for so long with out another victory.
I truely admire their approach to not use ASEAN Imports to develop the level of local talent, but it might be time to change their approach with the midseason break coming up. They are still within reach of the Saigon Heat for that 4th playoff position, but if the Vampires don’t try to stir things up, it could get out of their grasps soon.
Hitech Bangkok City’s next game at press release will be against the KL Dragons on the 13th of December in an ABL Finals rematch. Both teams are fighting hard to hang on to the top position as it seems quite clear that the first seed-fouth seed match up seems way more favorable than the second seed-third seed game. Whoever wins this game gets a huge boost to solidifying their spot.
The Mono Vampires will be playing their next game at home (FINALLY!!!) against the MX3 Pilipinas Kings. This situation is as good as any to start building up some momentum. If the Vampires fail to capitalize here…look for some major changes.
Feature Picture Credit: