Saigon Heat to face Westports Dragons Malaysia hinh anh 1Saigon Heat players.(Photo: ASEAN Basketball League)
Hanoi (VNA) – Vietnam’s basketball team Saigon Heat are confident of facing defending champions Westports Dragons Malaysia at the ASEAN Basketball League (ABL) at 5pm at CIS Arena in HCM City on March 11.

On March 5, the Heat defeated the second-placed Singapore Slingers 75-73 in Singapore, which has given the team a huge shot of confidence. For the past two years, the Slingers had always won against the Heat on home turf.

After showing strength under duress against Alab Pilipinas, the Dragons will have to do their best against the Heat. Losing to them (6-9) will end the defending champions’ campaign this year; it’s win or go home for them. There will be no room for error for the Dragons (4-13) as they try to hang on to their slim chances of making it to the tournament’s playoffs.

It will be the final regular season match-up between the two sides. The Dragons may have the upper hand in the head-to-head series, two games to one, but the Heat have been the stronger team in the past month.

The Vietnamese team came back from a six-point deficit to begin the fourth quarter, and outscored the Slingers 20-12, with Lenny Daniel scoring eight of his 22 points in the playoff period.

Jordan Henriquez proved to be a valuable presence at both ends as well, as he tallied 14 points, 14 rebounds, and an ABL career-high six blocks. Moses Morgan added 16 points, eight boards, two steals, and two blocks.

At 6-9, having won five of the last seven games, the Heat are looking to widen the gap between themselves and the fifth-running Kaohsiung Truth, who hold a 5-11 record.

A victory on Friday will give the Heat not just a full two-win lead over the Truth, but it will also eliminate the Dragons from the race. That would mean moving closer to clinching a playoff berth. – VNA