Thang Long Warriors and Cantho Catfish have both booked spots in the Việt Nam Basketball Association (VBA) League final.
In the second game of the event’s playoff round held at the Hà Nội University of Science and Technology’s Gymnasium yesterday, the Warriors defeated Hanoi Buffaloes 69-58 to enter the final.
Earlier, in the first game, the Warriors also crushed the Buffaloes 82-57.
The match saw outstanding performances by the Warriors’ key players Jaywuan Hill and Justin Young. Hill made his name as the tournament’s best player with 33 points.
Young said after the match that his team played well but they could play better.
It is the first time the Warriors have played in the event, but they proved they aren’t an easy team to beat.
The team, who are guided by experienced coach Lee Tao Dana, aim to earn the event’s title.
Meanwhile, the Catfish also earned a place in the final after beating Saigon Heat 76-68 in the southern province of Cần Thơ on Saturday.
The Heat brought their slogan “Win or Go home” to the match, while the Catfish supporters shouted “Defend the Homeland”. The fans were given an exciting match.
From the beginning of the game, both two teams worked hard to score points. Sang Đinh shone in the first period after scoring 10 points for the hosts Catfish. While the Heat made a strong impression through performances by David Arnold (five points) and Lê Ngọc Tú (four points).
However, with the support of fans on their hometurf, the Catfish led 21-16.
In the second quarter, the Heat bounced back. Phạm Duy Hậu scored six points in the final minutes to help the Heat lead 33-32. It seemed that the Heat would win this quarter, but suddenly Sang Đinh turned it around with an accurate three-point throw in the dying seconds to end the quarter 35-33 in favour of the Catfish.
The Heat failed to attack effectively in the third period, while the hosts managed to control the game and led 57-48.
In the last quarter, the visiting side made every effort to seek the final win. They narrowed the gap to 72-66 with just a minute left in the match. However, the Catfish showed their might with four points to fix the match at 76-68.
The Warriors and the Catfish will face off in the first final match at Hà Nội’s University of Education Gymnasium on November 19.