KUALA LUMPUR: Malaysia Dragons blew a chance to end their losing streak in the Asean Basketball League (ABL) after an agonising 115-111 defeat against Mono Vampire in Bangkok today.
Despite erasing a 19-point deficit in the third quarter, the Dragons (1-4) were unable to build on that momentum as they suffered a fourth consecutive loss.
Returning to the venue where he scored an ABL record 60 points on Nov 25, Marcus Marshall led the Dragons with 38 points while Joshua Munzon added 32.
AJ West scored 24 points and grabbed 12 rebounds for the Dragons, who have not won since beating Mono in Bangkok in their season-opener.
Michael Singletarry top-scored for Mono with 27 points but the home team were left hanging on for dear life in the final quarter after the Dragons stormed back from a double-digit deficit.
Mono coasted to a 19-point advantage in the third quarter before Munzon and Marshall combined for 12 points to key a 15-2 run by the Dragons, who ended the period trailing 88-86.
Marshall then put the Dragons ahead by one with a three-point shot 10 seconds into the final period but a turnover by the American allowed Paul Zamar to put Mono ahead for good at 103-101.
The Dragons' cause was not helped by West going 0-of-8 from the free throw line in the last quarter, which had a major bearing on the outcome.
Back-to-back steals by the Dragons in the final minute, however, led to Munzon scoring five points, including one from far behind the arc, and cut Mono's lead to 113-111.
After another Mono turnover, Munzon sped down the court to the corner but his three-point attempt to win the game came off the side board to leave the Dragons crestfallen.
Earlier, Mono started strongly to lead 36-25 in the first quarter but Marshall scored 11 points in the second period as the Dragons trailed 62-55 at half-time.
Mono improved to 6-3 with the win while the Dragons will attempt to get back on the winning trail tomorrow when they host Formosa Dreamers at the Maba Stadium.