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Ex-NBA star Stephon Marbury in KL for Seri Mutiara Cup 2017, scores 19 points in first game

Stephon Marbury malaysia maba KL seri mutiara cup 2017

Former NBA stars in Kuala Lumpur to win the Seri Mutiara Cup 2017


Seri Mutiara Cup 2017 begun yesterday with the highest level of basketball performances I've ever seen live at MABA Stadium featuring former NBA and NCAA stars who're playing for different teams from different leagues around world. If you enjoyed the ABL or even the recent SEA Games, you're going to love watching this even more — without a doubt.

Happening now at MABA Stadium in KL until this Sunday (17 September), the tournament opened with matches in Group A starting with Japan's Link Tochigi Brex defeating Nigeria's Kano Pillars 75 to 69. Link Tochigi Brex's point guard is Yuta Tabuse, the first ever Japanese national player who ever played in the NBA. In this game, he only managed 3 assists and 1 rebound in 13 minutes. Hope to see more of him in the coming games.

stephon marbury malaysia maba kl seri mutiara 2017

If you grew up watching the NBA since the 90s like me, chances are you know Stephon Marbury, one of the most dominant and entertaining point guards in the NBA from the late 90s till the 00s before he left to play in the CBA where he won three championships, a foreign MVP, a finals MVP and a All-Star MVP. The "Starbury" is in KL now, playing for China's Beijing Fly Dragon (otherwise known as Beijing BRCB) who're in Group A of the tournament.

The Fly Dragon played against Korea's LG Sakers who is also led by a former NBA player — Josh Powell, a two-time NBA champion with the LA Lakers (2009 and 2010) and a EuroLeague champion with Olympiacos. Marbury had a very slow start, struggling with his shots in the first half but came alive in the 4th quarter and finished with 19 points. His team defeats the Sakers 82 to 69 despite Powell's double-double (22 points, 13 rebounds).

Josh Powell LG Sakers seri mutiara cup 2017 malaysia kl

When asked about his slow start during an interview, Marbury said he was just tired and he hadn't played competitively since last year. He also said that at his age of 40 now, he doesn't quite have the legs anymore to get up like how he used to. He confirmed that this will be his final year before retiring from professional basketball (UPDATE: Marbury just announced on his social media that he's planning an NBA comeback).

Malaysia's NS Matrix, last year's runners-up, had a very intense, high-scoring opening game against Taiwan's Fubon Braves in Group B. Former NCAA star and current Texas Legends (NBA G-League) player Keith Hornsby put up an outstanding offensive performance with 47 points, 76% field goal, 5-8 from outside, 6 steals, 5 rebounds and 1 assist — pretty much single-handedly carried the Matrix to victory with the scoreline 100 to 91. Matrix's little Filipino guard Jeff Viernes also impressed with his quickness, bold drives to the rim against players twice his size and step-back three-pointers. He finished with 17 points, 4 steals and 3 rebounds off the bench. Jeremy Lin's younger brother, Joseph, came off the bench for the Braves to contribute 9 points and 4 assists.

Jeff Viernes Joseph Lin jeremy lin younger brother seri mutiara cup 2017 malaysia kl

The other two teams in Group B are last year's champions Guangzhou Long-Lions/Securities (also from China) and Croatia's KK Split. The reigning champs does not have any non-Asian imports and struggled to keep up with the much bigger and physically stronger Croatian side. The Split won the match easily 77 to 51.

A total of eight top class team split into two groups will battle their way to the final. Who will win? I dare not even guess. This is not a friendly. It's real competition and I can tell that these teams really want to win. To be honest, I haven't been this excited about watching live basketball games in Malaysia for a long, long time. If you're a long-time fan of the sport like me, you need to get your butt to MABA Stadium! Check out the schedule, results and ticket info below;

MATCH SCHEDULE (UPDATED WITH RESULTS)

Tues, 12 SEPT
2:00 PM Kano Pillars 69 - 75 Link Tochigi Brex
4:00 PM LG Sakers 69 - 82 Beijing Fly Dragon
6:00 PM KK Split 77 - 51 Guangzhou Long-Lions
9:00 PM NS Matrix 100 - 91 Fubon Braves

Wed, 13 SEPT
2:00 PM Beijing Fly Dragon 71 - 59 Kano Pillars
4:00 PM Fubon Braves 90 - 89 KK Split
7:00 PM Guangzhou Long-Lions 79 - 93 NS Matrix
9:00 PM Link Tochigi Brex 59 - 75 LG Sakers

Thu, 14 SEPT
2:00 PM Fubon Braves 92 - 93 Guangzhou Long-Lions
4:00 PM NS Matrix 93 - 102 KK Split
7:00 PM Kano Pillars 69 - 90 LG Sakers
9:00 PM Link Tochigi Brex 83 - 73 Beijing Fly Dragon

Sat, 16 SEPT
2:00 PM [7th/8th Placing] Kano Pillars 68 - 107 Fubon Braves
4:00 PM [5th/6th Placing] Guangzhou Long-Lions 74 - 77 Link Tochigi Brex
6:00 PM [Slamdunk Contest] Winner: Kyle Richardson from Link Tochigi Brex
7:00 PM [Semi-Final 1] Beijing Fly Dragons 96 - 93 NS Matrix
9:00 PM [Semi-Final 2] LG Sakers 76 - 79 KK Split

Sun, 17 SEPT
1:00 PM [3rd/4th Placing] NS Matrix vs. LG Sakers
3:00 PM [3-point Shootout Contest]
4:00 PM [Final] Beijing Fly Dragons (BRCB) vs. KK Split
>> Click here to read the latest update.

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TICKET SALES INFO

Daily Tickets — RM20
* Free Gatorade bottle and Clear shampoo (while stocks last)

Season Pass (all 5 days) — RM100
* Free official t-shirt

Student Price — RM10

If you're no where near KL, you can catch the matches at home live on Astro channel 801 and 813.

A post shared by Tony Teh (@toninkush) on

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