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Brunei NT defeated Vietnam 87-83 - Dec 6, 2010

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THE national basketball team defeated Vietnam 87-83 to grab their first win in their Group B match of the Third China-Asean Men's Basketball Invitational tournament at Pingguo County, Guangxi, China last night.

Marjomar Aying scored a game-high to 29 points to lift the national cagers to a win. Teammates Don Mordeno chipped in 25 points and Liang Wei contributed 11 points.

Two players on the roster also claimed a double-double, Benjamin Sim with 20 points and 11 rebounds, and Zainul Hussin with 11 points and 13 rebounds.

Nguyen Van Ngoan top-scored for the Vietnamese with 27 points, while compatriots Trinh Nhan Duc and Mai Viet Ngoc Luan added 17 points and 12 points respectively in the loss.

Leaving it late to their final group stage match to claim a win, national basketball coach Kevin Reece attributed the win to the players starting to gel.

'The consistency of Ben Sim contributing a double-double in each game thus far, along with his poise leadership and determination, the assistance of the imports finally settling in, and with the two locals' (Zainul and Liang Wei) double-doubles, it gave us stability and made it easier for the team and other players to contribute to the level that we expected,' said the 50-year-old.

'The key components to our victory was more ball movement, good half-court defence and the shared instinct of wanting and needing to win. To be honest, we were more comfortable playing with other teams of the same height, but not taking anything away from Vietnam because they were very tough opponents and it proved to be a dogfight to the end.

'This is another great experience for our young players and continue for the team to bond and prove in the international play,' added Reece.

Both teams were level on points in the first (25-25) and second quarters (44-44).

Yet at the end of the third quarter, the Sultanate had opened up a 67-60 lead before promptly winning the match 87-83.

With the sole victory, Brunei have earned the right to battle Macau today. It will determine who will contest for the 5th and 6th place match tomorrow.

The losing side will find themselves battling in the 7th and 8th placing match instead.

Either sides will take on Malaysia or Vietnam, who are also in the same situation.

Undefeated Group A and Group B winners, the Philippines and Guangxi have progressed to the semi-finals, joined by Hong Kong and Thailand.

Winless Singapore, who suffered four consecutive defeats, are already knocked off from the tournament.-Amir Amin

The Brunei Times

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