Darkness may have been descending upon the Beeline Arena, but the action wasn’t over yet. There was still the small matter of the Phnom Penh Dragons and the Post Buffaloes, the fire breathers versus the Herdsmen.
With the not so coveted record of 5 and 1, if ever there was a time for the Buffaloes to muster some fight, it was now. They needed that pack spirit, they needed to stampede. But again they failed to deliver.
CBL Saturday opponents the Dragons on the other hand are in a rich vein of form and have huge reason for optimism going into the second half of the season, some scary fixtures aside.
So as we kinda expected, the Dragons prevailed as winners, but let’s take at a look at how this one played out.
It appears the Dragons have lair! Well it more like a dressing room, but still. Coach Michael Dibbern gave his pre-game team talk behind closed doors and whatever he said worked because the Dragons emerged on court pumped.
Laughlin once again stood solid in defense foiling the Buffaloes attack on numerous occasions in a commanding display. While Jay Boolkin unleashed shooting guard Leng Seng with defense splitting passes.
With the trio at work, it was hardly evident that the Dragons were without the ever threating Ben Laird, leading by 20 points to 13 going into the 2nd quarter.
The Dragons may have been leading but the Buffaloes had every right to feel aggrieved at a series of poor calls by the referee. Kosal had a 3 pointer chalked off for god knows what, and Jay Roden was being made to feel like a villain.
In the 2 quarters that followed the Buffaloes continued to fall by the wayside. Kosal, usually the most dangerous of the herd, was putting a performance that was mediocre to say the least.
The Buffaloes were bad, there is no hiding from that when you consider the huge 16pt margin they trailed by going into the 4th, but the refereeing was worse.
But with the scores at 56-40, the Buffaloes, in particular Jay Roden and Adam Noah were finally finding a way to crack the Dragons tight zone defense. For the first time all evening they even managed to out-score the Dragons, but it was far too little too late.
Jay Roden ran out as the game top scorer with 21 points, but it was little consolation as the Buffaloes crashed to another heavy defeat 70-55, severely denting their chances of making the play-offs.
As one might expect Michael Dibbern was more than pleased with the unity in the camp, which should make them an easy shoe in for a play-off position.
“The team played awesomely well today, despite missing some key players. A real team effort! Our transitions worked perfectly and on set offense we played some great move from the posts.”
Both teams are not back in action until game week 13 in the Cambodian Basketball League in association with Western Union. The Phnom Penh Dragons will be looking to defeat the Extra Joss Warriors. While the Buffaloes will face off against NSK Dream.
Both game will take place at the Beeline Arena on Saturday September 7th.