With their playoff hopes on the line, can the Mono Vampires pull of an upset in the final meeting between them and the Dragons?
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Saigon Heat beat Hitech Bangkok City in overtime last night 94-90. This should come to the delight of the Mono Vampires, who are Hitech Bangkok City’s rivals while also recently encountering Hitech in a controversial ending as well.
HOWEVER, it turns out that win would be Saigon’s 6th win of the season holding on tightly to the 4th and final place in the standings.
Mono Vampires have 2 wins and is sitting at 5th with a tiebreaking advantage over the Pilipinas MX3 Kings, which doesn’t really matter since both 5th and 6th place miss out on the playoffs anyways. Mathematically, the Mono Vampires are still not out of the playoff race.
If they can win the rest of their games they can still make it in. But that involves beating league leading Singapore Slingers twice and only if the Saigon Heat lose all of their remaining games. It’s a long shot, but its still possible.
And the road starts here with a game against the KL Dragons. On the other hand, it could also end here with a loss to the KL Dragons as well.
A loss to the Dragons would mean that the Vampires can only have a maximum of 6 wins this season. The best case scenario would be that Mono and Saigon both end up with 6 games, and even then Saigon would stay ahead with the head-to-head tiebreaker.
If there has ever been a better chance to use the phrase “Must win” it is now.
It will be interesting to see how Kannut Samerjai follows up with his 38 points outburst in the recent game. Surely, the KL Dragons will be more prepared that Hitech Bangkok City but if Samerjai was to shoot like the past game, not much preparation can help.
But it won’t be an easy game against the Dragons. It never is. The Dragons are truly one of the most well-oiled machines in the ABL. The Singapore Slingers are can be unpredictable as to who will have a huge game for them. Hitech can be unpredictable depending on who’s shots are falling that day.
The Dragons, however, are pretty much as steady as can be. Aside from a couple of off days from Matthew Wright, you can pretty much expect the same things from the same players in every game.
So it boils down to whether the Mono Vampires can step up their game to above the Dragons standards.
X-Factor: Kannut Samerjai
Could it be anyone but the man of the hour? Yes, it’s been a week already but 38 points by a local is nothing to push aside so quickly. The big question entering this game is whether Samerjai can maintain his form and if the Dragons can stop him.
It’s going to be fun to watch how this turns out.
As much as I would love a wild run for the final playoff position…it just seems to preposterous to develop.
KL Dragons should take this game by 8 points.
Feature Picture from Mono Vampire Basketball Club
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