KUALA LUMPUR: The playoff hopes of the Malaysia Dragons ended after going down 102-88 to the Saigon Heat in an Asean Basketball League match in Ho Chi Minh City on Saturday.
The Dragons had won their last two matches to ignite their bid to finish in the top-six but this setback leaves them languishing in seventh place on a 5-11 record.
Saigon improved to 9-8 to seal the sixth and final playoff spot. Even if the Dragons win their last four games, they will not be able to surpass the Heat who hold the tie-break advantage.
Joshua Munzon led the Dragons, champions in 2016, with 25 points while Chris Eversley contributed 23 points and nine rebounds.
Another of the Dragons’ newcomer, Brian Davis, scored 18 points and grabbed 17 rebounds while Kuek Tian Yuan added 11 points for the Dragons who only utilised seven players.
The Heat, who only called on one player off the bench, saw Akeem Scott score 29 points while Maxie Esho came up with 23 points and 12 rebounds.
The Dragons opened the game with a 5-0 lead but trailed the rest of the way although they only trailed by five going into the last quarter.
The Heat, however, blew the Dragons away in the final period after outscoring the visitors 33-24.