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CBL: Unbeaten Dragons, Fighters seek third win

Jose Rodriguez T. Senase / Khmer Times Share:
The Extra Joss Fighters are slight favourites against Master Tapsi. KT/Yeun Punleau

The Cambodian Basketball League (CBL) will resume this weekend with league pacesetters ABA Dragons and Extra Joss Fighters both looking for their third win in a row against their opponents on Sunday.

The Dragons will be up against the AsianBallers, while the Fighters will face Master Tapsi.

The AsianBallers versus Dragons game will be played at 1pm, while the Fighters and Master Tapsi will play the second match of the day at 3pm. The third and final match on Sunday – scheduled a 5pm – will pit Yi Li Beyond against Ministry of Economy and Finance (MOEF). All the games will be played at the National Sports Training Centre in Phnom Penh.

There were no CBL games over the past two weekends, due to the reallocated holidays.

The Dragons sport a 2-0 record after beating Master Tapsi 69-58, during the opener and Yuetai Mekongers 77-69, a week later. The Fighters, meanwhile, roped off two straight wins versus Yi Li Beyond (68-54) and AsianBallers (74-52).

The Dragons are heavily favoured to win their matchup, with AsianBallers still winless after two outings. In addition to their loss against the Fighters, the AsianBallers also fell to the Yuetai Mekongers, 75-42.

The Dragons also have an array of firepower they can put to good use against the AsianBallers.

Leading the Dragons CBL campaign are man-mountain Curran Hendry, sweet-shooting big man Nebojsa Trajkovic, point guard Anthony Raygoza and forward Mike Tuon.

After being limited to six points during the opener, Hendry asserted himself during their second game, scoring 17 points while making crucial plays down the stretch.

Trajkovic, meanwhile cooled off after dominating the opener with a barrage
of triples. But he is expected to bounce back and will command a lot of attention with his inside-outside game.

Despite their obvious advantage, the Dragons are taking no chances, citing the improvements their opponents are making game after game.

“We’re looking forward to a tough matchup with the Asian Ballers. They’re young, fast and making huge improvements each week,” Dragons centre Seth Hendrickson said.

Hendrickson’s view was shared by Dragons power forward Colon Hodgkins.

“It’s an honour to share the court with CBL legend Phanat Ouch and it’s clear he’s taken his MVP work ethic into the coaching seat. His squad are hungry and getting more dangerous every game. Sunday will definitely be an exciting test for us,” he said.

The Fighters will have a tougher road ahead. Master Tapsi have yet to win a game, but all their losses were by single digits, including a one-point defeat to MOEF two weeks ago.

The CBL, which is the Kingdom’s top basketball league, is supervised by the Cambodia Basketball Federation and sponsored by Yuetai.

 

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