Tabo is not scoring as many as before, but is still one of the best.
With 5 seconds left and the game is on the line, Tabo Chak caught an in-bound pass, drive to the basket in traffic and hit a jumper in front of Eric Ngai and James Kwan. This final basket of the game avoided an overtime and gave H.F.C. a 32-30 victory over SAMURAI.
Chi Chiu Au hit the first free throw but missed the next, when SAMURAI still hold a 30-28 lead with less than half a minute left.
Tabo rushed for a three in the ensuing possession, but missed. In what might have thought to be the last possession of the game, H.F.C. grabbed the offensive board and Nikko Kwok’s layup tied the game at 30-all. Jackie Lai lost the ball out-of-bound with five seconds left.
While most still think the game will need five extra minutes to decide a winner, Tabo took over and end it by his hands.
SAMURAI began the game with 10 turnovers in just the first period, while H.F.C. also committed seven. Still, H.F.C. began the game with a 7-0 run. Kelvin Ng and Jackie were the only SAMURAI scorers and H.F.C. lead 10-4 in the first ten minutes.
Chiu and Kelvin each scored two points and cut the deficit to 8-11, but SAMURAI struggled to score again in the rest of the second period.
After missing two free throws including one air-ball, Nikko split the pair in his next trip to the line and followed by making both in the next try.
H.F.C. took a 9-point lead into the half-time break.
Jackie scored five straight SAMURAI points including a three-pointer and Eric Ngai added a free throw to pull within 14-17. Andy So’s three-pointer ended a scoring drought of H.F.C. but Chiu answered back-to-back threes and tie the game at 20-all. Andy’s goal became the lone basket for H.F.C. in the third period.
William Wong capped a 5-0 run with two points and Chiu turned it to 7-1 with two free throws for a 27-21 lead mid-way through the final period.
Patrick Ip and Tabo each made a pair of free throws and turn it into a one-point game at 28-29.
Eric Ngai was late to game. He enter the game hall late in the second period, finished with 5 points and rebounds apiece.
Kelvin Ng fouled out in the 4th period. He finised with 4 points and two assists. Jackie added seven and eight. Chiu had a game-high 12 points to go along with six rebounds, but was one of five SAMURAI with 4 or more turnovers.
Some players from both teams exchanged words during post-game line-up and hands-shaking and needed teammates to separate them.
SAMURAI had 29 turnovers on Sunday, the second most by a team in one game and one more than Trojans who had 28 — was a season high — last month. T-REX had 30 turnovers in a 31-25 win over Challengers in 2007.
H.F.C. is 2-0 against SAMURAI at Harbour Road Sports Centre and 2-1 overall. SAMURAI beat H.F.C. at Shek Tong Tsui Sports Centre last season when H.F.C. failed to shoot a potential game winner and they went on to lose in overtime.
SAMURAI allowed the opponent to comeback in 4th period lead of six or more points in two straight games, and lost both with the final score at 30-32.
After scoring at least eleven points since the champ-fight in 2007, Tabo failed to reach double-figure scoring in his last four games and averaged only eight points this season. His assist number, however, rised sharply from last season’s 3.8 to 5.4, and is at least three more than any player in the league. But he has also a league-high 5.8 turnover per game.
Jackie (4 treys in 4 games) and Andy (5 in 5) made one three-point in each game they played this season.
SAMURAI (1-4) will miss playoffs if they lose next game or if G.T. Explorers (1-4) win its next. Both teams play against Dream Team — the defending champion — in their final game before playoffs.
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