Darren propels Tutong to victory

Caption: Darren Chai (C) of Tutong goes for a layup against Brunei Muara B in the 5.11 National Day Challege Trophy. Picture: Yee Chun Leong

Yee Chun Leong

DARREN Chai hit the game-winning three-pointer at the buzzer to lift Tutong to an 85-82 victory over Brunei Muara B in the 5.11 National Day Challenge Trophy tonight.

Yap Chun Ping tied the game at 82 apiece after a layup with one second left on the clock at the Brunei Basketball Association (BBA) court in Batu Bersurat.

Tutong called a timeout to advance the ball to mid-court and got the ball in the hands of Chai, who took one dribble and knocked down a turnaround trey right down the middle with two defenders on him for the win.

“I made a few threes in the game already so I might as well give it a try,” said Chai in an interview with BruSports after the victory.

“It felt good when it left my hands but I thought it was a 50-50 shot,” he added.

Chai finished with a game-high of 35 points while Md Zainul Ashyraf Hj Hussin added 18 points.

Khoo Chin Kai was also in double figures with 12 points while Onn Jen Hao chipped in 11 points in the triumph.

Kevin Tay notched 20 points, including five treys, to pace Brunei Muara B.

Tan Kun Hor poured in 12 points while the duo of Ahmad Termizi Nordeen and Tan Ye Wei contributed 10 points to a losing cause.

Brunei Muara B opened up a 19-point lead at 61-42 midway through the third quarter.

Tutong switched to a full court man-to-man defence for a 9-0 run to shift the momentum and closed to within 67-58 heading into the final quarter.

Chai, who produced 16 points in the third frame, had the hot hands and Tutong scored seven unanswered points to start the deciding period.

They got to within one point and finally tied the game at 78-78 with two minutes left after a pair of free throws by Khoo.

They finally went in front 82-80 after a putback basket by Teo Jyh Shiun with under a minute to go before the late drama.

The six-team competition continues tomorrow with Belait B – Seria up against Brunei Muara B at 7.30pm.

The second game pits Tutong against Belait A – KB at 9pm.

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