PETALING JAYA: Westports Malaysia Dragons needed a superb third quarter showing to edge the Pilipinas MX3 Kings 105-91 in the Asean Basketball League (ABL).
The Kings, who have found some form in recent times, started strongly at the Malolos Sports and Convention Centre in Manila to take a slim 26-23 first-quarter lead in Wednesday’s match.
The Dragons, with centre Reginald Johnson struggling to get going, managed to squeeze into the lead – 49-48 – at half time.
Head coach Ariel Vanguardia’s men then came out firing in the third quarter, with point guard Jason Brickman pulling out all the stops to give the Dragons a 75-61 lead.
The Kings tried to fight back in the final quarter, but the Dragons held on for their 11th win of the season.
Matthew Wright led the scoring for the Dragons with 28 points while Brickman scored 23 points and dished out 13 assists.
Arizona Reid top scored for the Kings with 28 points while Nakiea Miller added 22 points and 12 rebounds.
“It was hard to take on a home team who have nothing to lose. With the crowd cheering them on, they really played their best,” said Vanguardia.
“Guys like Ivan (Yeo) and (Kwaan) Yoong Jing really stepped up from the bench and did well manning the post.”
The Dragons, who are 11-4 for the season, remain in third place in the six-team league.
The Slingers lead the standings with a 12-2 record, followed by HiTech on 12-3.
The Dragons will travel to Bangkok to take on basement team Mono Vampire Basketball Club on Saturday.