KUALA LUMPUR: The Malaysia Dragons won the Asean Basketball League (ABL) title for the first time after beating Singapore Slingers 77-65 in Game 5 of the finals at the Maba Stadium on Saturday.
The win allowed the Dragons to complete a 3-2 series victory and go one better than in 2014 when the Dragons lost 2-0 to Bangkok City in the finals.
Jason Brickman led the way with 21 points to bag the ABL finals most valuable player honour while Reginald Johnson scored 21 points and grabbed 10 rebounds for the Dragons with Calvin Godfrey adding 13 points to go with 12 rebounds.
Matthew Wright finished the game with 13 points as the Dragons won the title for the first time in six seasons of competing in the ABL.
Justin Howard led the Slingers with 27 points while Kris Rosales added 22 after visitors forced the deciding Game 5 when they won Game 4 on March 20 with a buzzer-beating shot.
"We had many heartaches and defeats and tears but now we are the champions. This is for all of you," said Dragons coach Ariel Vanguardia in thanking the fans for their support.
The Dragons never looked back once they gained the lead in the first quarter and were up by as much as 19 points in the second.
Although the Slingers attempted to rally in the third quarter, they never got closer than 10 points as the Dragons comfortably saw the game to its end.
"The Slingers pushed us to our limit but we were on our home court and it's unbelievable what happened today," added Vanguardia.
"Singapore are a good defensive team but we needed to find a way to score. We proved to ourselves that we can play defence too."