Saigon Heat has secured a ticket to the ASEAN Basketball League’s (ABL) semifinals after defeating Philippines’ Pilipinas MX3 Kings 84-79 in Ho Chi Minh City on Wednesday.
The Kings played at CIS Arena without head coach Jack Santiago, who had some issues with his flight to Vietnam. Michael Fey did not play for undisclosed reasons.
However, the Kings put up a valiant fight and even took one point lead in the first quarter by 19-18.
The Heat fought back in the second quarter, with 10 points by Lenny Daniel alone, ending up leading by three points, 39-36.
The home team continued to lead 55-49 in the third quarter that was marked by elbows and forearms being thrown by William Creekmore and Paul Williams, who were both ejected.
The Heat secured a victory to earn an early ticket to the semifinals for the second time since 2014.
Daniel of the Heat scored 35 points to go along with 25 rebounds, three assists, one steal and a block. Morgan and Arnold contributed 17 points and 16 points respectively.
The Kings were led by Jason Deutchmann’s season high 26 points, followed by Willie Miller with 12 points.
The Heat won the season series against the Kings 3-1. They will wrap up the elimination round against the Singapore Slingers on February 21.