Phnom Penh Dragons Vs Galaxy
To kick off CBL Saturday the Phnom Penh Dragons entertained the Galaxy in a game that never differed that much from the script, as the favorites romped to an easy victory.
A number of things seem to have gone wrong for the Galaxy of late: they show a lack of organization, fitness is becoming a major issue, and each week numbers seem more and more limited. This week they were without their star Kelvin Chau, which in truth is like being without a vital organ.
The Dragons on the other hand have reason for optimism despite some scary fixtures on the horizon in the Cambodian Basketball League in association with Western Union. That unity that they found last time out against Pate 310 was still on display, which may just give them the ability to fly.
They took control in the 1st quarter leading 21-13 at the interval, and once the lead was established the Dragons never let go of it.
Dibbern again relied heavily on the services of Ben Laird and Erik Laughlin and again both put in the type of performance that we’ve come to expect from the duo, but there was a new addition amongst the Dragons line-up that was equally deserving of praise.
Enter Jay Boolkin! Boolkin, who was only registered to play at the half-way point in the season, was making his debut. He appears to bring an air of positivity to the side, with his constant cries of encouragement rallying his team-mates, and the organization he brought to the backline allowed for plenty of fast breaks.
Though the all of the young squad benefited from the experience he brought to the court, shooting guards, Laird and Leng Seng, were a devastating force on the wings, contributing 25 and 16pts respectively. The quick transitions, allowed by the more organized defense, were proving to be too much for the out of shape Galaxy.
Though the 2nd and 3rd quarter were low scoring and to be honest pretty drab, it was all about to be rectified by a stunning 4th quarter from the fire breathers. They netted 30pts in the closing stages and Laird was electric.
The young Briton was everywhere! There were plenty of stand-out moments in that 4th quarter, but 2 of the best were: 1) When he interception a Galaxy pass to burst forward for an easy lay-up with 3 Chinese men in hot pursuit, and 2) A lovely feint pass that opened up a shot from just inside the paint to put his team 30pts ahead, 65-35.
The Dragons continued to add to their tally after those quick-fire attempts from Laird and ran out 71-37 winners. On the evidence of recent displays they should be a safe bet to make the play-offs.
Next up for the Dragons is the Post Buffaloes next weekend, a game they will again be favorites to win. While the Galaxy face a much tougher task in the Extra Joss Warriors on the 31st of August. Both games will take place at the Beeline Arena.