The first time I watched a professional basketball game in person was a particularly memorable experience at Manila, and this got me into becoming a fan of KL Dragons, our very own team in the inaugural Asean Basketball League.
Last weekend Gareth, Kim, Horng, Selina, Kerol, and I went to catch the 2nd last home game of the 2009-2010 regular season at MABA stadium (located between Petaling Street and Stadium Negara). We were hosting the Philippines Patriots, the very same match up I watched in Manila.
Rogue Squadron performing “burn it up”, marching band, cheerleaders
Between the cheerleaders, Rogue Squardron performing KL Dragon’s theme song “Burn it up” (you can listen to it here), dude in Jason’s mask waving a giant flag, the marching band, and the loud music, the whole concept of sports entertainment was executed very well. It kinda reminds me of college ice hockey games back in the States.
It was already an enjoyable experience for the fans even before the game got started.
a very intense game between the Dragons and Patriots
After teams and KL Dragons’ five starters – Rudy, Roel, Fhadzmir, Jamal, and Chris were introduced, the game got started to loud cheers of the crowd.
Feeding off the energy from the crowd, the dragons jumped to a 10-1 lead. We kept building the lead until about 6 minutes left before half time when a scuffle broke out between the players.
After a lengthy review and discussion among the officials, KL Dragons had three players ejected from the game, including the top scorer in the league, Chris Kuete.
B. Guganeswaran charging to the paint
By half time, the score was 44-32 with the dragons leading. But with our top scorer off the game, the Patriots took advantage of a strong third quarter to cut the lead all the way down to 52-51. The crowd grew tense.
Then came the turning point of the game. One a drive towards the basket, point guard Rudy drove up and was fouled hard by one of the Patriots. Rudy stayed on the ground for several minutes before being helped back on his feet with a loud cheer by the crowd.
final score: KL Dragons 77, Philippines Patriot 59
That stirred up the intensity of our players to the next level, and Rudy himself was especially playing like a man possessed.
With the help of a very strong defensive showing that limited Patriots’ shooting to 28%, KL Dragons won the game 77-59 against the league leader with Rudy contributed a team high 14 point and two other players in double figure. It was definitely a team effort.
The crowd and players left a jubilant bunch, but the work is not done. Coach Goh will have to find a way to reignite the same fighting spirit for the remaining games to get a spot into the playoffs.
If schedule permits, I’m gonna be at the last home game too!