Hong Kong tops off dominant debut season with ABL title

Norman Lee Benjamin Riego on Apr 23, 2017 08:25 PM
Hong Kong tops off dominant debut season with ABL title
ROOKIE REIGN. In just their first try, Marcus Elliott and Hong Kong crowned themselves as kings of the ABL.

Putting a fitting end to its run of being preseason favorite, in-season league-leader, and semifinals sweeper, Hong Kong crowned itself as king of the hill in the 2016-2017 Asean Basketball Tournament.

Banking on the continued brilliance of Marcus Elliott, the visiting Eastern Long Lions again proved to have all the answers for home team Singapore, even in double-overtime, 82-80, on Sunday at the OCBC Arena.

For the first time in the history of the league, a championship game needed extra time to settle the score.

In the end, it was rookie team Hong Kong which came out on top behind Eliott who had all but two points in a 5-0 spurt that turned a one-point deficit into an 82-78 lead in double-overtime.

The Slingers kept coming courtesy of Leon Kwek only to be stymied in their final possession.

Elliott, the unquestionable Finals MVP, ended with 26 points and eight assists and was ably backstopped by Tyler Lamb who scored 21 points of his own.

After dropping Game 1 at home, the Long Lions rang off three consecutive victories to claim the title in just their first go-round in the ABL.

For Singapore, it was Xavier Alexander who showed the way with 20 points. Filipino-American Josh Urbiztondo chipped in 16 markers of his own.

Still with no answer for Elliott, however, the Slingers were forced to settle for another runner-up finish.

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