DMC Enterprise's Goh De No (L) attempts to drive the ball past Syarikat Bukit Ladang's Xavier Fong during their Brunei Basketball Association (BBA) League clash at the BBA court in Batu Bersurat last night. DMC's Yong Kui Seng hit two late free throws to help his team to a 57-56 win, their first of the tournament. BT/Syarif Rasani
DMC Enterprise's Yong Kui Seng sank the last two free throws of the game to edge Syarikat Bukit Ladang Sdn Bhd 57-56 for their first win of the 1st Brunei Basketball Association (BBA) League last night.
The match was important for both teams as the victory would seal them their first win of the tournament, and all the nail-biting action came down to the last minute of the game - which saw numerous fouls and timeouts from both sides.
Syarikat Bukit Ladang, who led the game the whole way through from the second quarter, made their first mistake when they gave DMC's Goh De No two free throws followed by an intentional interference during his shot, earning him two more.
He went on to sink three of the four to trail 53-52 at the BBA court in Batu Bersurat. DMC's Ang Lu Kwang then put them in the lead through a shot inside the paint to go up 54-53 with 50 seconds left on the clock.
Tension was running high on both sides of the court, though Xavier Fong from Syarikat Bukit Ladang composed himself and managed to sink two more for his side whilst picking up the shooting foul with 39 seconds left.
Fong went on to score the bucket to help Syarikat Bukit Ladang regain the lead at 56-54. DMC's Ken Han was fouled shortly after play resumed, giving him the chance to tie the match - though he was only able to hit one of his two shots to make it 56-55 in the last 20 seconds.
DMC quickly secured the offensive rebound, leaving Syarikat Bukit Ladang no other choice but to pressure them man-to-man, which eventually led to the ball being knocked out for DMC in the last 13 seconds.
Seng received the ball from the outline and an obvious push from behind earned him his game winning shots at the line. "I felt the pressure with the last two shots, especially with everyone talking," Seng told The Brunei Times. "I just cleared my mind and made sure that I made the shot.
"I've been in this situation a few times and I've been missing a lot, so I just hoped and prayed that I made those two shots. "I think everyone just played their game today. "I'm very happy for the team but there is still room for improvement," noted Seng, adding that DMC will try to play a better game defensively and offensively in their next match.
Han shared that it was both a frustrating and exciting game in the last minute. "Basketball is all 50-50. The ball was on their side the last five minutes and then we happened to get some good rebounds and they fouled us," said Han. "We played well, a bit lost at times. But overall for a team that just got together playing five-on-five, I think it was pretty good," added Han.
Le Doux Patisserie outplayed I-Cyber 90-79 in the second match of the night. The league will resume on Friday with I-Cyber taking on Syarikat Bukit Ladang at 7pm followed by Mochi-Each-A-Cup (MEAC) facing Le Doux Patisserie at 8.30pm. MEAC remain the only unbeaten side in the six-team competition after winning all four of their games.
MEAC beat Yuan Thong Enterprise 77-65, I-Cyber 91-64, Syarikat Bukit Ladang 82-53 and DMC 70-57. The competition started on June 15, and according to a previous report in The Brunei Times, the league is aimed at preparing the Sultanate for future FIBA (International Basketball Association) international competitions.
The top-four teams will advance into the semi-finals of the competition whereby the crossover matchups will then be contested in a best-of-three series. MEAC are favourites to win the title after having captured the last BBA-organised competition, the 2013 Aewon Cup, with a 93-65 thrashing of the Titans in last October's final.