Super 8: NLEX falls to Koreans, Blackwater wins

Sumang going against Tsuyama (Asia League Instagram)
Sumang going against Tsuyama (Asia League Instagram)

The second day of Asia League’s Summer Super 8 tournament at the Macao East Asian Games Dome saw all 4 CBA and KBL teams put away a victory asETLand Elephant and Guangzhou Long Lions rankedfirst in Group A and B.

The first game on Day 2 sawan exciting match-up between two winning sidesfrom Day 1. ETLand Elephants got off to a great start, butNLEX road warriors held strong and were only 2 points behind by the end of the first half. The South Korean team then pulled ahead,hitting 9 total 3-pointers in the second half and 15 of 36 for the game.The NLEX defense seemed shaken and weren’t able to hold their ground.75-60, ETLand Elephant securedits second victory.

Despite losing to Guangzhou Long Lions yesterday, Rizing Zephyr Fukuokagot off to an impressive start and took13-0 lead in the first quarter.However, Samsung Thunders launched a full-court press with a barrage of 3-pointers to break evenat 23-23. Fukuoka only had 8 points in the second quarter, and Samsung took a 32-29 lead before half time.Both sides tried to play fast at the start of the 3rd quarter, yet Samsungout-performed Fukuoka when it came to3-point shooting and fast break offense, which helped them gradually cumulate 20 points lead, 58-38.

Just when everyone felt that Fukuoka had given up, they carried out a 11-0 fight back with renewed vigor and narrowed the 20-deficit to only 2, 63-65,with only 32 seconds left. However, Kim Hyun-Soo ended Fukuoka’s hopes of mounting a comeback with a 3-pointer. 63-68, Fukuoka narrowly losttheir second game in a row.

After scraping a win on Day 1, Guangzhou Long-Lions,led by Ju Mingxin, Guo kai and recently-transferredShirelijan Muxtar, defeated the strong Philippine Blackwater 88-69.

Guangzhou gainedmomentum from the very start with Zheng Zhuncombining front and back court, yet at the end of the first quarter only had 5 points lead, 24-19, while Blackwater performed several well-executed counter attacks. But every time scores tied, Guangzhoustepped it up. In the third quarter, Blackwater Elite once caught up – to 58-59 -much to the excitement of the large contingent of Filipino fans in the audience.

However, a key 3-pointer from Shirelijanboosted the team and kept Blackwater at bayforalmost 10 minutes. Guangzhou took the opportunity to stretch the lead for a comfortable win.

Xinjiang Flying Tigers, who lost their first game unexpectedly, went all out to attackopposition Formosa Dreamers. Team owner Blackie Chen Jianzhou supported from thebench for a big game for his Chinese Taipei side. In the opening quarter, Li Xuelin, who used to play for the Xinjiang team, made several consecutive shots and the two sides were end-to-end to 13-13. However, Xinjiang’sstrength saw them gradually pulled away.

With 4 minutes and 24 seconds left in the second quarter, Xinjiang led by 37-17. Later, although the Dreamers had Chen Shinian and Li Xuelin constantly on the offensive, the Xinjiang team stabilized the situation and quickly expanded the score.Eventually, Xinjiang won 94-57 overFormosa Dreamers. Xinjiang had 6 players score in double figures, and out-rebounder the Dreamers by 12.