03 - 26
April 2024
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NS Matrix escape Hi-Tech, complete BCL Asia Qualifiers Round 2 cast

ULAANBAATAR (Mongolia) - NS Matrix overcame the late-game threat issued by Hi-Tech Basketball Club, 96-93, to complete the Round 2 ensemble of the Basketball Champions League Asia (BCL Asia) Qualifiers, Sunday night at the UG Arena.


Taishaun Johnson sank both of his freebies for more breathing room and Marcus Elliott missing his heave from deep as time expired enabled the Deers to escape after seeing what was once a 79-61 lead become just one, 94-93, with 4.9 seconds left to play.


Johnson nearly finished with a triple-double with 19 points, 8 rebounds, 9 assists, and 4 steals to lead the reigning champions from Malaysia in the character win. Ting Chun Hong and Damion Rosser produced 17 points apiece and combined for 12 rebounds.

Jordan Tolbert had 12 points while Wong Yi Hou and Kuek Tian Yuen chipped in 11 points each as the Malaysian players contributed solidly to the balanced attack.

Wasted by the Thai club's loss, meanwhile, were the efforts of Kevin Allen, who led his side with another double-double of 27 points and 11 rebounds in the rally that fell short. The same goes with Elliott (15 points) and Chanatip Jakrawan, who had 14 points and 7 rebounds.

Now NS Matrix are the fourth and last team to reach Round 2 in Indonesia later this April, joining Indonesian Basketball League (IBL) clubs, Pelita Jaya Basketball and Prawira Harum Bandung as well as HKBA A1's Hong Kong Eastern Basketball Team.

Prawira were the third team to reach the next round after showing the Ulaanbaatar Xac Broncos the door, 94-83, to open Sunday's double-header affair.


Hans Abraham connected on a timely triple before Brandone Francis calmly sank both of his free throws as the defending IBL champions held off their Mongolian opponents, which got to as close as five, 83-78, after facing a 77-62 deficit early in the fourth.


Francis led Prawira with 24 points, 4 rebounds, and 3 assists. Yudha Saputera shot an impressive 4-of-5 from beyond the arc and eventually finished with 21 points.

James Gist delivered a double-double of 19 points and 13 rebounds, along with 4 assists, 3 steals, and 2 blocks in 33 minutes of action on the way to registering an efficiency of 28. Antonio Hester chipped in 11 points, 6 rebounds, and 4 assists in the victory.

Divine Myles, on the other hand, had 19 points and 6 rebounds to lead the Broncos, which couldn't replicate their comeback attempt against Hi-Tech barely 24 hours ago, which ended in the latter's favor but not before surviving in overtime, 115-111.

Anand Ariunbold and Justin Moss supplied 13 apiece in the defeat, which meant that no team will represent Mongolia in the BCL Asia inaugurals. Bishrelt Metal were the first to be booted out of contention when they fell 0-2 in Group A, eventually finishing winless in three games.

Top stats of the night:

Points - 27 (Kevin Allen, Hi-Tech Basketball Club)
Rebounds - 13 (James Gist, Prawira Harum Bandung)
Assists - 9 (Taishaun Johnson, NS Matrix Deers)
Steals - 4 (Taishaun Johnson, NS Matrix Deers)
Blocks - 2 (Multiple players)
Efficiency - 34 (Kevin Allen, Hi-Tech Basketball Club)

Top highlight of the day: