The Westports Malaysia Dragons fired on all cylinders in an impressive 109-60 demolition of the Saigon Heat in the ASEAN Basketball League Saturday at the MABA Stadium in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.
The 49-point winning margin was the biggest ever by the Malaysian squad, and the largest margin of victory in an ABL game this season.
The Dragons raced out to a 15-0 lead to start the game, with Calvin Godfrey and Matthew Wright taking turns scoring at will against the Heat. The Heat didn't score until the 3:42 mark of the first quarter, when Saigon import Lenny Daniel nailed a free throw.
"Last time we played those guys, those guys beat us," Dragons import Reggie Johnson said. "We kinda took it personally, the way they handled themselves after they won the game, they celebrated during the game and it kinda burned us inside."
The Heat defeated the Dragons, 91-82, when they first played last November.
"We made sure that the next time we played them, it was gonna be a good game, and we held our bargain on that," Johnson added.
The Dragons led 21-7 at the end of the first quarter, and showed no mercy in the second period as Wright drilled four triples while Jason Brickman added three three-pointers of his own.
It did not help that Daniel succumbed to his frustration and was assessed a technical foul after he pushed a Westports player following a missed bunny.
The Heat made a push early in the third quarter, but Johnson and Wright were there to keep Saigon at bay. With the Dragons comfortably ahead in the final frame, Saigon head coach Anthony Garbelotto figuratively waved the white flag by subbing out his imports and star players.
"We just wanted to be aggressive and attack the basket," Brickman explained after the game. "The break helped, but we were all mad about the last game against Singapore. That's all we were thinking about for three weeks."
The Dragons ended 2015 with a 71-78 loss to the Singapore Slingers.
"We wanted to get back on the court and get a win because we ended the year with a loss," Brickman said. "It was important for us to start (2016) with a win."
Johnson added that the Dragons simply "wanted it more."
"We got a tough stretch coming up. This is our first game of 2016, and we wanted to set the tone for how we're going to play defense," he added. "Tonight we did good, but we're gonna watch film and get better."
The Dragons will look to make it two in a row when they play the Pilipinas MX3 Kings on January 13.
Meanwhile, the Heat look to bounce back when they take on Hi-Tech Bangkok City, also on January 13.
(For more sports coverage, visit the ABS-CBN Sports website.)