It has been a while.
สำหรับ ภาษาไทย อ่านที่นี่
The last time the KL Dragons played Hitech Bangkok City, it was Game 2 of the ABL Finals in Bangkok. The Dragons had their backs to the wall after having lost the first game on their very own home court.
Hitech would eventually win the game and ultimately, the ABL title.
It’s been exactly one year, one month, and two days since that last game and almost halfway through a new ABL season, their paths collide once again. The game tomorrow will be the very first rematch of last year’s ABL Finalists!
In a way, this could probably be a preview of this year’s ABL Finals as well (No, I haven’t forgotten the Slingers. But you have to admit that Dragons vs. Hitech is a fairly possible scenario). Hitech stands at first place in the standings with an impressive 6 wins and 1 loss. The KL Dragons are not far behind at 3rd place with 5 wins and 2 losses.
Hitech will be missing Jerick Canada, Patrick Cabahug, Wattana Suttisin, and Montein Wongsawangtham from last year’s squad, but new recruits Freddie Goldstein and Tyler Lamb have been more than enough to replace their production. Goldstein has put himself among the top point guards in the league with averages of 17.3 points, 3.7 rebounds, and 5.0 assists per game. Add 2.3 steals per game to that resume and you can see how much of a headache he must be for the opposition.
Goldstein is a scoring guard in the mold of Allen Iverson, and the KL Dragons have a response in quite a contrasting form. Jason Brickman runs the point for the KL Dragons and he’s been as much of a problem for opposing teams as much as Goldstein has been, only for different reasons. He averages 10.7 points, 9.1 assists, and 6.6 rebounds. He too has 2.3 steals per game.
Goldstein is a quick Jitterbug with unbelievable athleticism who can score in bunches in a hurry. Brickman on the other hand is not as fast and doesn’t jump as high, but is a really good passer with great court vision. It’s almost as if Jerick Canada (Hitech point guard from last season) and Avery Scharer (Dragon’s point guard from last season) just switched teams.
It’s going to be fun to watch these two contrasting point guards run two contrasting teams at each other in this game. Hitech are still a defensive-minded team while the Dragons still go all out on offense. The fact that they are almost polar opposites just makes the rivalry just a bit more interesting.
I haven’t even covered the potential matchups between Tyler Lamb-Matthew Wright and Steve Thomas-Reggie Johnson yet!!
This is going to be a really fun game.
X-Factor: Wong Yi Hou/Nakorn Jaisanook
I think Matthew Wright slightly has the edge over Tyler Lamb, but Hitech also have Wuttipong Dasom, so that should be a wash. I favor the twin tower of Hitech over the the Duo of the Dragons, if only out of experience.
So in the end, the players I feel should have the power to sway the outcome of this game are the two up and coming local players of both teams. They have both shown the ability to hit the long bomb (Yi Hou making 7, Jaisanook making 6) and I wouldn’t be surprised if one of them make a big shot in this game.
Home Court factor is hard to gauge here for the KL Dragons. Going by the small historic record I have, the Dragons have played 16 games at MABA stadium and have accumulated an astounding 14-2 record here. What’s even more impressive is that those 2 losses came at the hands of Hitech.
However, the Dragons are coming off a very good offensive output at their home court, while Hitech didn’t impress that much in their away win at Saigon.
I see the Dragons coming away with a 3 point win.
Feature Picture from Kuk Onvisa Thewphaingarm