Caption: The Beruang Blazers pose for a group photo. Picture: Courtesy of Beruang Blazers
Yee Chun Leong
BANDAR SERI BEGAWAN
THE Beruang Blazers will be looking to make it two wins in a row at the 2017 Dato Jimmy Poh Basketball Open Invitation Tournament in Kuching when they take on two-time EBL champions Kuching Lord Tiger tonight.
The Blazers got their campaign off on the right foot with a 77-69 victory over D’Stranger Club on Sunday night at the Sg Apong basketball court.
Captain Ben Sim felt that the result is exactly what they needed.
“It is a morale booster to start anything with a win,” said Sim in an interview with BruSports News yesterday when contacted.
“But we will approach it one game at a time with focus,” he added.
The Blazers have made several changes to their roster with regulars Yap Chun Ping, Jamri Ramli, Choo Yung Jian and Md Zainul Ashyraf Hj Hussin out with other commitments.
In addition, the Blazers only completed their lineup upon arrival in the Sarawak capital on Saturday after being joined by their imports Christien Charles, Jarron Crump, Cedrick Ablaza and Michael Parala.
However, they showed they didn’t need much time to settle down as Crump and Charles did the bulk of the scoring in the triumph with 23 and 17 points respectively.
The latter also hauled down 20 rebounds for a double-double.
Kel Hung was the other in double figures for the Blazers with 17 points to his name.
The biggest blemish is that they turned the ball over a total of 17 times in the matchup.
Sim is not too worried about it and believes they will only get better.
“As long as we keep our focus on our mission, chemistry will continue to grow,” explained the Blazers captain.
“Our target is to make Brunei proud by doing as much as we can here,” he added.
The Blazers defeated Lord Tiger 77-67 to clinch the GRÂND Borneo Invitational Challenge title in their last meeting in mid October and Sim once again expects a tough encounter.
“Kuching will always be a tough opponent so we look forward to this matchup,” he concluded.
A total of five teams - SABA and Miri King Kong being the others - are vying for top honours in the Nov 26 - Dec 2 competition.
The Blazers will take on King Kong tomorrow before completing the preliminary round on Thursday.
The top two teams will then battle it out in the final on Saturday.