Heat toast Knights with eye on postseason
By Harry Hodge
Is it rainy season in Saigon? Moses Morgan seemed to think so.
The gunslinger made it rain with an astounding eight bombs from three-point land and 30 points overall as the Saigon Heat stomped the visiting CLS Knights Indonesia 114-86 Saturday night in ASEAN Basketball League (ABL) action. The win puts Saigon at 8-8 on the season, matching the most wins in a season in franchise history with four games to go, and putting the team back at .500 after a month on the road.
“I just wanted to come out and try to get a win,” said Morgan, who was unaware of how many three-balls he made throughout the contest. “This was a big game for us (as we prepare) for the playoffs.”
Teammate Maxie Esho led all scorers with 35 points and 12 rebounds, as both teams played their entire benches in the blowout victory. Shane Edwards paced the Knights with 23 points, while teammate Brian Williams notched 16 points and 11 rebounds for the double-double.
“(Morgan) got here with me three months before the season,” said Heat coach Kyle Julius, who said the Thai-American star had been shooting just as well before he was sidelined by injury. “This is definitely a confidence-builder. We’ve just got to keep working hard.”
Vietnamese-Swedish playmaker Stefan Nguyen, who finished with eight points in just over 16 minutes of court time, said preparation was key. The Knights kept the game close in the first quarter, before Saigon started to pull away at halftime as Heat sniper Mike Williams drilled a buzzer-beating three-pointer to make it 50-42. In his third season with the team, he said there’s a different feel about this year’s squad.
“We have new leadership (with new players and a new head coach), it’s contagious,” he said. “We all come in early and leave late. We were really well-prepared (for this win).”
The Heat will be at home to face the Westports Malaysia Dragons next Saturday at CIS Stadium in District 7.