Keene’s killer debut lifts Mono Vampire over Bolts in opener
NONTHABURI (FIBA Asia Champions Cup 2018) — Marcus Keene had a slow start, but made sure to get things going in time to lead Mono Vampire to a 100-92 win to open their FIBA Asia Champions Cup debut over the Meralco Bolts.
The diminutive scoring guard was unstoppable in the fourth quarter, exploding with 8 straight points in just for the first minute of the interval. The scoring burst turned around a 70-70 tie into a large enough cushion for Mono Vampire to hold on to the win.
It was close and tightly contested throughout the entire game where the Meralco Bolts got solid contributions from National Team guard Baser Amer and Allen Durham. Amer had 18 points, 4 rebounds, and 3 assists while Durham put up a monsterous 20 points to with 18 boards.
Keene’s 29 points was the story of the game for the Thai squad, but he got plenty of contributions all around. Michael Singletary kept the team going while Keene was heating up and finished with 25 points and 15 rebounds. Thailand National Team wing Darongphan Apiromwilaichai was also key as he was a perfect 5/5 from the field with 13 points and 3 steals.
The changing point of the game was the start of the 4th quarter when Keene stared down the Meralco Bolts defense and nailed his first triple of the game. The 5’9” guard then finished a fast break layup and knocked down another triple to give Mono Vampire the lead for good.
The win for the Mono Vampire marks the second consecutive year at the FIBA Asia Champions Cup where they were able to win their opening match. Mono Vampire will face defending champions Al-Riyadi tomorrow while the Meralco Bolts will look to get back on track when they face Alvark Tokyo.