Saigon Heat are national basketball champs again

By Hoang Nguyen, Vy AnhDecember 9, 2020 | 06:42 am PT
Saigon Heat are national basketball champs again
Saigon Heat lift the VBA 2020 trophy on December 8, 2020. Photo courtesy of Saigon Heat.
Saigon Heat beat Thang Long Warriors in the finals of the national pro basketball league VBA 2020 to win the trophy Tuesday.

The final score after four games was 3-1 for Saigon Heat against the Hanoi-based Thang Long Warriors.

In game 4, an excellent performance by two shooters Vo Kim Ban and Nguyen Huynh Phu Vinh helped Saigon Heat dominate the game, with the team led 23-10 after the first round.

Warriors put in a better performance in the second round with American Robert Crawford scoring baskets and Nguyen Phu Hoang making impressive assists. They shortened the gap to two points, but Heat succeeded in locking Crawford up, making it difficult for Warriors to score.

Meanwhile, Heat’s American players Joshua Keyes and Christian Juzang were constantly threatening the Warriors’ defense. They scored 13 points each and made 30 rebounds in total. Keyes, who has won "Man of the Match" nine times this season, proved to be lethal in both offense and defense. Thanks to the duo, Heat quickly increased the gap to 14 points in the fourth round.

The winners managed to maintain a safe distance for the rest of the game for a final score of 73-54. Kim Ban was chosen as "Man of the Match" in game 4 as he scored 31 points, breaking his previous personal record (20 points). Ban also became the only domestic player to win a "Man of the Match" award this season.

Keyes won MVP Finals for his stellar performance throughout four games of the final.

In game 1 of the finals, Heat had won 59-55 and Warriors drew level in game 2, winning 74-70. In game 3, Heat claimed a 65-53 victory before winning the final game. This is Heat’s second consecutive VBA title.

The 2020 VBA was the fifth edition of the tournament. The season was scheduled to start in May but was postponed due to the Covid-19 pandemic. It officially began on October 15 and the regular season ended November 20. The final playoffs took place from November 24 to 28 and the finals from December 2 to 8.

VBA 2021 is set to take place early next year to allow the national team more time to prepare for SEA Games 31.

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