SINGAPORE — Coach Ariel Vanguardia lauded the Westports Malaysia Dragons local players for their fine play in the Asean Basketball League finals and says he is counting on them to finish off the Singapore Slingers on Sunday in Game Four .
The Dragons are a win away from claiming the title after a big win on Friday at the OCBC Arena.
World imports Reggie Johnson had 34 points and 13 rebounds, while Calvin Godfrey added 21 points for the Dragons. Fil-Canadian Matthew Wright also contributed for Malaysia with 16 points.
But Vanguardia also credited the local players, particularly big man Kuek Tian Yuan, who had quality minutes with three points, a rebound, and a block.
“Give credit to Kuek. He plays big. He had some blocks when Godfrey was in foul trouble. He handled it,” said Vanguardia.
Singapore actually got a huge game from its own local player Wu Qingde, who had 19 points including three triples as import Xavier Alexander and Justin Howard struggled.
Vanguardia stressed that Malaysia’s locals have been doing fine, even though the numbers don’t show it.
“The locals don’t get any credit but they are the most hardworking guys that I’ve ever coached. I just hope that our guys’ hard work also gets the credit,” said Vanguardia.