MACAU – The iECO Green Warriors faced harsh reality in their Asia League Terrific 12 debut.
Playing in their first official game, the country’s lone bet in the invitational tourney absorbed a confidence-crushing 75-103 drubbing from the Ryukyu Golden Kings at the Studio City Event Center here on Tuesday, September 18.
Allowing the Golden Kings to seize a 17-0 start, the Green Warriors never recovered as they were hit with a double whammy after import Richard Howell went down with an apparent knee injury with more than 6 minutes left in the first period.
Howell, a former Best Import of the Conference in the PBA, slipped while running down on defense and needed to be stretchered off the court. He never returned to play for the Green Warriors.
Apparently, that was just the start of the iECO’s woes with Ryukyu building a lead as large as 35 points thanks to imports Jeff Ayres and Josh Scott’s impressive inside play.
Ayres, a former NBA champion with the San Antonio Spurs, chalked up 12 points, 14 rebounds and 5 assists while Scott finished with 17 points and 7 boards.
It wasn’t just the Golden Kings’ reinforcements who starred in the blowout.
Takatoshi Furukawa churned out 15 points and 3 rebounds, Yutaro Suda chipped in 14 points off 3 triples while Ryouma Hashimoto added 13 points and 3 rebounds in the win.
Matt Salem paced the Filipinos with 15 points behind 4 triples to go with 3 rebounds while Kris Porter and Sam Logwood had 12 and 10 points, respectively.
The Green Warriors need to pull off an upset against former NBA player Al Jefferson’s Xinjiang Flying Tigers on Thursday, September 20, at the same venue to have a chance of advancing to the knockout semifinals. – Rappler.com
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