Yee Chun Leong
BANDAR SERI BEGAWAN
EASYWAY are one win away from completing a three-peat after advancing to the final of the MK Group Cup with a 119-100 victory over YTE Morsjaya last night.
They will face Juramas, who defeated Street Roc 95-83, in the title-decider on Sunday at the BBA court in Batu Bersurat.
The imports put up big numbers for Easyway with American Justin Howard putting up 42 points and grabbing 21 rebounds while Fil-Am Avery Scharer notched a triple-double with 31 points, 16 rebounds and 17 assists.
Marcus Quirk was the other in double figures for the two-time defending champions with 15 points to his name.
On the other hand, American import Nick Stover produced a game-high of 44 points to pace YTE while compatriot Shaheed Davis added 29 points.
Don Mordeno also hit double figures chipping in 12 points in a losing effort.
Easyway overcame a 10-point second quarter deficit and opened up a double digit lead in the third period.
They led by as many as 13 points (79-66) with three minutes to go in the frame before YTE called a timeout to regroup.
It worked as they got a mini run going and a Davis basket just before the buzzer saw them cut the deficit to 84-76 going into the final quarter.
YTE picked up where they left off to score the first basket of the period but Easyway would reply with nine unanswered points.
Frustrations boiled over for YTE after more than two minutes into the quarter and Davis was whistled for his fourth foul then.
Easyway then had their way in the paint and got their advantage to over 20 points enroute to victory.
Howard, who hasn’t had much luck in the finals with a 0-4 record which include back-to-back losses with the Singapore Slingers in the ASEAN Basketball League (ABL), believes that they can finish at the top of the podium should they execute their game plan accordingly.
“Championship is what we want. This was the first test of the tournament. We had a game plan and went out there and executed,” said the 6’11 centre after the win.
“We could have done a better job but at end of the day we did what we had to do and we won.
“In the final it will be a different team so we have a different scheme. At the end of the day, we are not worried about the other team but we are worried about us,” he added.
“If we do what we have to do I’m confident of winning the championship,” concluded the reigning ABL defensive player of the year.