Yee Chun Leong
BANDAR SERI BEGAWAN
EASYWAY made it three out of three to start the MK Group Cup after dispatching Street Roc 99-75 in Group A last night.
American import Justin Howard did most of the damage for Easyway with 30 points while Avery Scharer added 17 points to his name.
Geve Leones was also in double figures with 10 points while Kel Hung chipped in 10.
On the other hand, Mike Fey paced Street Roc with 30 points while Soon Kian Leong contributed 10 points in the defeat.
Street Roc got off to a quick start to score the first seven points of the match at the BBA court in Batu Bersurat.
Easyway were over committing themselves at the defensive end and allowing their opponents to break it down to score.
They only found their rhythm three minutes into the match and replied with nine unanswered points to take the lead and extended it to 22-15 heading into the second period.
Easyway forced Street Roc to take the outside shot and attacked on the break.
They also utilised their height and size advantage well to put two bodies on Fey to ensure they win the defensive rebounds.
The two-time defending champions eventually extended their lead at as large as 19 points before Street Roc trimmed the deficit to 49-33 at halftime.
Easyway stretched their lead to 60-39 four minutes into the third period but Street Roc put up another mini run to get close in to within 12 points - running off screens to allow their shooters to get open looks.
However, Street Roc they hurt themselves by turning the ball over too many times as they had trouble handling the rock allowing Easyway to run away.
The advantage ballooned to over 30 points for Easyway in the final stanza enroute to victory.
Easyway assistant coach Lim Kok Shien felt that they executed the game plan.
“Obviously we know they don’t have a deep bench and that’s why we kept pushing hard,” said Lim after the triumph.
“First quarter eventhough we were down, we were patient. Second and third quarters, they were a bit tired already so we kept pushing the ball.
“We knew they couldn’t keep up with us for four quarters,” he added.
When asked about how their defence is coming along, Lim replied: “At the moment we haven’t gelled yet as a unit when it comes to defence.
“There is a lot of over commitment on defence. Giving them that kind of privilege where we assume they are good shooters but they are not showing.
“If we don’t over commit and protect our zone we should be alright,” he added.
Meawhile, the earlier game saw Darrel Dela Cruz hit the game-winning freethrows with two seconds left to give Em Prez Sdn Bhd a 105-103 victory over CK & Associates.
Ricardo Eliseo had tied the encounter at 103 apiece with 12 seconds left on the clock.
Dela Cruz had a chance to win it but watched his layup rim in and out. However, he grabbed the offensive rebound and was fouled on the putback sending him to the stripe.
The competition continues today with the final Group B matches.
Hainan will take on Tutong Basketball at 7.15pm while Juramas and Walltique will do battle in the second match at 8.45pm.