The Cambodia Basketball League (CBL) playoffs will start this weekend with four teams battling for the last two semi-finals seat.
The Extra Joss Fighters and Yuetai Mekongers are already in the semi-finals after topping the elimination round.
Tournament rules stipulate that the top two teams will advance outright to the semis. The winners in the quarter-finals will get the remaining semis slots. The number three team after the elimination round will face the number five team in the quarter-finals, while the number four team is paired with the number six team.
The Fighters, which bagged the first semis lot, are number one in the standings with 10 wins and two losses. The Mekongers (9-3) bagged the second semis slot over the weekend after routing Beyond, 94-58.
The Dragons (8-3) are slated to face the AsianBallers (2-10) in the playoffs. The second quarter-finals battle will pit Master Tapsi (5-7) versus Ministry of Economy and Finance (6-5).
The quarter-finals will feature a single knockout game. The winner of the match between the Dragons and AsianBallers will face the Mekongers in the semi-finals. The Fighters, meanwhile, are waiting for the winner of the Master Tapsi-MOEF pairing.
The Dragons are heavily favoured against the AsianBallers. In addition to having the superior ranking, the Dragons also beat the AsianBallers twice in the first round.
The Dragons smashed the AsianBallers, 84-37, during their first meeting in August. Their second game in October ended in another lopsided win for the Dragons, 100-41.
The Dragons also boast of a tall, sweet-shooting lineup bannered by big men Curran Hendry, Nebojsa Trajkovic and Mike Tuon. Guards Ty Reeder and Anthony Raygoza, sharpshooter Jeff Kane and Cambodian superstar Heng Plenglong are the other ABA players to watch.
Cambodian star Eouy Samnang will have to play a ‘perfect game’ to give the AsianBallers a fighting chance.
The MOEF five are slightly favoured versus Master Tapsi, being ahead in the standings. The MOEF edged Master Tapsi, 55-54, during their first game in August. Master Tapsi won their second meeting in October, 65-58.
Veterans Janno Cunanan, Fredjie Portades, Jayson Mercado and Harold Bemtgen are expected to carry the cudgels for Master Tapsi.
The Dragons will play the AsianBallers on Sunday starting 2pm. The Master Tapsi versus MOEF game will commence at 4pm. Both games will be played at the National Sports Training Center in Phnom Penh..
Austin Koledoye, secretary-general of the Cambodia Basketball Federation , said they want to finish the tournament by December 20, as originally scheduled.
The playoffs was supposed to start on Nov 22. But the CBF has to make changes to the schedule after the Government imposed a two-week sports ban early this month due to the COVID-19 pandemic. He said that it is possible that some of the games in the semi-finals will be played on a weekday. The semis will be a best-of-three affair.