Playing in their final home game of the elimination round, Filipino-Americans Caelan Tiongson and Mikh McKinney made sure to send home to packed Nanhai Gymnasium happy as the two carried Chong Son Kung Fu to an 87-76 win over defending champions Hong Kong Eastern Basketball Club, Tuesday evening.
With the win, Chong Son was able to retain second place in the standings with a 13-5 slate, a game above Mono Vampire and 1.5 games ahead of Alab Pilipinas. Moreover, they are just a game behind Hong Kong for top seed while they took 2-1 lead in their head-to-head series.
McKinney, the front-runner to win the ASEAN Heritage Import Most Valuable Player plum, led Chong Son with 26 points on a 50 percent shooting clip. The floor-general played all 40 minutes of the contest.
Besides McKinney, Tiongson towed Chong Son with 11 points and 14 rebounds. Moreover, he was the one tasked to guard Filipino-German Christian Standhardinger, who finished with 24 points, 12 rebounds, and two blocks in 40 minutes of play.
Behind Standhardinger, Hong Kong was able to pick up an early nine-point lead in the contest. Anthony Tucker and Justin Howard though were quickly able to erase the deficit. A triple by Tucker with 5:58 remaining in the first half gave Chong Son the lead for good.
McKinney and Tiongson then torched Hong Kong to begin the final frame before Tucker and Howard were able to extend the lead to a game-high 23 points, 77-54, with 4:52 left in the game.
Howard had 19 points, 15 rebounds, and three blocks while Tucker added 14 points and nine assists.
Hong Kong shot their season-low 39 percent from the field.
Marcus Elliott and Ryan Moss and 19 and 18 points respectively. Tyler Lamb struggled from the field, shooting just 4-of-20 for 10 markers.