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Ryukyu Golden Kings and Guangzhou Long-Lions head to The Terrific 12 finals

The Terrific 12 semifinals concluded yesterday with the Ryukyu Golden Kings triumphing over the Nagoya Diamond Dolphins and the Guangzhou Long-Lions repeating their Summer Super 8 victory over the Seoul Samsung Thunders. With these wins, the Ryukyu Golden Kings and Guangzhou Long-Lions will face off in the finals match, to be held at 7:00pm on September 23. The Nagoya Diamond Dolphins and Seoul Samsung Thunders will meet at the third-place matchup, to be held at 5:00pm on the same day. Today was the fourth day of The Terrific 12, hosted by Sports Bureau of Macao SAR Government and Asia League.

Recaps of today’s matches are given below:

The Nagoya Diamond Dolphins opened up The Terrific 12 Semi-Final round with a match against B.League rival, the Ryukyu Golden Kings. The two teams finished the group stage with a perfect 2-0 record and looked to extend that streak to reach The Terrific 12 Finals. The Golden Kings came out firing while the Diamond Dolphins couldn’t buy a bucket as they ended the first quarter going 2/16 from the field and scoring only 5 points. Ryukyu continued to display beautiful basketball with quick ball movement and held on to a 13 point lead at the half over Nagoya – 36 to 23. The Diamond Dolphins continued their shooting woes in the second half as the twin towers of the Golden Kings, Josh Scott (15 points and 13 rebounds) and Jeff Ayres (16 points and 9 rebounds) clogged the paint and disrupted their shooting. Ultimately, Nagoya couldn’t overcome their poor shooting as they missed a total of 15 free throws finishing the game 10/25 (40%). The Golden Kings closed the game and secured their spot in The Terrific 12 finals with the score of 66 to 48. Quarter Scores, NDD-RGK: 5-19, 23-36,37-52, 48-66.

In a rematch of the Summer Super 8 finals this July, the Seoul Samsung Thunders looked to avenge their loss against the Guangzhou Long-Lions. Both squads came out firing as they showcased their strength down low and outside shooting. The Samsung Thunders put on a good run in the second quarter to create some separation, led by Ben Mbala, who was a dominant force down low and finished with a double double – 26 points and 12 rebounds. They led by as much as 12 points in the first half but the Long-Lions finished the quarter on a high note, ending within striking distance at 37 to 43. Guangzhou finally got over the hump as they entered the 2nd half with a run that would put them back up. Seoul kept themselves in the game and traded baskets, turning the game into an intense back and forth. Kyle Fogg carried his team on his back, controlling the floor and doing damage from all around the court to complete the comeback. The Long-Lions led by 10 points entering the final quarter but the Thunders were not ready to give up. They kept it close but Fogg and Shirelijian Muxtar were just too much. Muxtar drained 2 straight threes to extend the lead to 13 with 4 minutes to go - they held on to the lead from that point on. Fogg filled up the stat sheet, scoring a team high of 27 points, 7 boards, 7 assists and 5 steals. The Long-Lions are back in the finals as they won with a final score of 88-74. They will be facing the Ryukyu Golden Kings from Japan in a winner take all match to take home The Terrific 12 crown. Quarter scores, GLL-SST: 19-21, 37-43, 63-55, 88-74