Hi-Tech Bangkok City were crowned the 2014 AirAsia ASEAN Basketball League after defeating the Westports Malaysia Dragons, 73-67, at the Thai-Japanese Stadium on Tuesday.
Jerick Canada, who was chosen as the Finals Most Valuable Player, finished with 18 points. “This award is for all teammates in Hi-Tech and also all my family in Cebu for always supporting,” said the Finals MVP after the game. “We had a slow start in this game but we stayed together and focused to turn things around.”
Patrick Cabahug came up with another clutch performance for Hi-Tech with a game-high 23 points. Chris Charles finished with 15 points and 19 rebounds. Meanwhile, Steven Thomas added 10 points and 11 rebounds.
After playing from behind in game one, the Dragons were off to a flying start by building a 16-4 lead after 6 minutes of play. Loh Shee Fai opened the game with back-to-back three-pointers and Justin Knox capped the run with a jumper from the free throw line. Playing in front of a sold out crowd, Hi-Tech responded with an 11-4 burst to cut their deficit to 5, 20-15, at the end of the first quarter.
Moala Tautuaa helped his team to push their lead back to 12, 27-15, after completing his three-point play with 7:30 left in the second period. But, Cabahug answered right away with a three-pointer to keep his team’s deficit in single digit. Dragons carried a 38-32 lead to the halftime break.
Shee Fai silenced the crowd with 8 minutes left in the third quarter after burying a three-pointer to extend Dragons' lead to 14, 48-34. Unfortunately for Malaysia, their 14-point lead did not last long after Canada drained a three to start a 16-2 run and put the game on a deadlock at 50 with 2:30 until the final quarter.
In the final quarter, the momentum swung Hi-Tech’s way after Attaporn Lertmalaiporn splashed a corner three-pointer to tie the game at 62 with 4 minutes left which got the Hi-Tech fans rocking the Thai-Japanese stadium. The Dragons were unable to regroup, while Canada pushed Hi-Tech’s lead to 4, 66-62, with his layup and two free throws. Cabahug scored a basket with 20 seconds left to ensure Hi-Tech’s 2014 AirAsia ABL title.