Taipei, Dec. 13 (CNA) The Taipei Fubon Braves fell 83-88 to the Macau Wolf Warriors in a hard-fought game in China on Thursday, dropping to third place with a 4-2 card in the ASEAN Basketball League.
The Braves lagged behind for most of the game and were 18-33 with just over three minutes to go in the first half, as the Warriors pick-and-rolls kept them inside the key at their home court at Zhongshan Shaxi Gymnasium.
After a time out by Braves head coach Roger Hsu (許晉哲) three minutes before the end of the first half, Taiwan national team guard Lin Chih-chieh (林志傑) led the way with a step-back three-point shot and an assist to American import forward Charles Garcia, who made a monster dunk in the paint.
Taipei's big man in the middle, former NBA center Gursimran-Sing Bhullar, also contributed to the scoreboard by playing the mismatch under the rim, bringing the Braves to 26-39 by the end of the first half.
In the second half, the Braves warmed up some more, with two three-pointers from downtown by former NBA star O.J. Mayo putting them within three points of the home team.
However, Warriors American import guard Douglas Herring proved too difficult to shut down, as he landed bucket after bucket, coordinating strategical screens with American import center Steven Thomas.
With just under two minutes left in the game, Garcia made a three-point-play, bringing the score to 80-81, but Herring soon found his target from outside the key, widening the gap again.
In the final minutes of the game, the Braves did all they could to overtake the Warriors but failed to find their mark and eventually fell 83-88 at the final whistle.
Herring led the scoreboard with 32 points, followed by Mayo with 25 points. The Warriors also dominated the boards with 13 rebounds grabbed by Thomas.
The Braves' loss on Thursday was a big letdown for their fans after a 90-81 victory against the Formosa Dreamers of Taiwan in the first-ever in-house rumble at Changhua County Stadium last Saturday. The Braves will face the Dreamers again on Dec. 21 at the same venue.
After Thursday's game, the Braves dropped to third place in the ABL standings, while the Warriors moved up to seventh place with their first win of the season.
The ABL 2019-2020 season began on Nov. 16, with 10 teams from East and Southeast Asia competing for the title. The regular season runs until March 29, 2020.
(By William Yen)