Saigon Heat crowned VBA 2019 champions after aggregate 3-2 final win

Wednesday, 2019-09-18 10:14:24
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Saigon Heat celebrate their VBA 2019 trophy.
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NDO – Saigon Heat claimed top honour of the Vietnam Basketball Association (VBA) 2019 season after beating Cantho Catfish 69-68 in a thriller on September 17 to secure an aggregate 3-2 final triumph.

The two teams headed into their fifth game on Tuesday, following a 2-2 draw in the previous four games, with Catfish winning the first 78-75 and the third 74-68, while Heat pocketed 84-74 and 66-49 victories in the second and fourth, respectively.

Catfish took the lead 29-17 in the first quarter of the title decider, but Heat fought back to equalise the score at 37-37 late in the second quarter. However, the brilliance of Phu Hoang helped Cantho Catfish wrap up the second quarter with a 43-39 lead.

The third quarter saw Saigon Heat maintain a flying mood and turn the tables to lead 57-54 with the accurate dunks of their pillars.

This is the first time Saigon Heat (in white) have been crowned the VBA champions.

In the fourth quarter, Catfish missed out on a single point in the opening minutes with a series of unsuccessful three-point throws and inaccurate dunks. Meanwhile, Heat scored five additional points to widen the gap to 62-54. With just four minutes to play, Catfish produced a vigorous resurgence to reduce the gap by three points before leveling the score 67-67 with only one minute left.

Du Minh An put Saigon Heat in front 69-67 with a successful dunk, but Hamilton made it 68-69 for Catfish following his one-point free throw.

The drama of the game reached its peak in the last second as Cantho Catfish enjoyed a clear-cut chance to retain their title with two one-point free throws. Unluckily, Phu Hoang failed to convert either of them, thus gifting the overall trophy to Saigon Heat.

This is the first time Heat have been crowned the VBA champions. Their joy was doubled as Tavarion Nix was voted the most valuable player of the finals.