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Brunei suffer third consecutive loss

Brunei Darussalam’s Mohd Zainul Ashyraf in action during the SEABA Pre-Qualifier for the 2021 FIBA Asia Cup against Singapore. – FIBA

BY Fadhil Yunus 

BRUNEI Darussalam national basketball team showed signs of improvement despite falling to their third consecutive defeat in a 96-40 loss to Singapore at the SEABA Pre-Qualifier for the 2021 FIBA Asia Cup at the Stadium 29 in Nonthaburi, Thailand yesterday. In the opening exchanges, Brunei kept pace with their naturally stronger opponents and briefly took a 6-5 lead.

The Bruneians brought forward their game with two of the country’s most involved players setting the tone, Ahmad Termizi bin Haji Nordeen releasing a mid-air pass to Mohd Zainul Ashyraf bin Haji Hussin who executed a clean shot.

However, that was as good as it got for Brunei as an error led to Singapore resuming control after Kian Leong Soon dropped the ball. With the defensive line running short of players, Mitchell Frederick Folkoff benefitted from an empty court to finish off the move.

There was clear daylight between the two sides as Singapore marched to a 19-0 run before Ming Kwong Han of Brunei ended the rot with two points just shy off the buzzer.

With Singapore threatening to follow suit Brunei’s previous conquerors Thailand and Indonesia, the writing was on the wall but the fourth quarter turned out to be one of the positive sparks in an otherwise frustrating campaign for Brunei.

After gathering a low accumulation of points in the third quarter – though they doubled the figure from the Thailand game – Brunei were far from outclassed in the fourth after limiting Singapore’s quarterly score of 18-12.

Mohd Zainul Ashyraf once again showed his importance to the team after leading the points for his country with nine to follow up with his top performer recognition in the previous game against Indonesia.

This time the top performer billing went to Jen Hao Onn after being awarded an efficiency rating of +10 having made four points, four rebounds, two assists and one steal.

Ahmad Termizi also contributed in a losing effort with eight points also led the rebound charts for his team with five.

Singapore’s Qing Huang Toh produced a game-high of 22 points with Larry Hua Sen Liew also playing key roles with their succession of three pointers.

Singapore’s Shengyu Lim earned the recognition of top performer after inspiring his team with a double-double having accomplished 17 points and 11 rebounds.

Brunei will play Cambodia next and will conclude their campaign against Malaysia and with fourth place seemingly out of reach, they will be looking to finish on a high at least fifth out of six entries.

-- Courtesy of Borneo Bulletin

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