Valencia Heat (2-0) go second in the Eastern Conference with a 69-58 win over Morvant Oilbirds (0-4) who remain winless in the Big Basketball League.
In the only game at the Maloney Indoor Facility on Thursday, Valencia who are in a rebuilding phase jumped off to an early 19-7 lead to close the first quarter, restricting the Morvant team to their lowest first-quarter score in the tournament.
Oilbirds had a better second quarter, in fact, they tied the second quarter, as the Heat maintained the 12-point lead (32-20) at halftime.
Valencia Heat got a renewed sense of energy in the third quarter, as they outscored the inexperienced but impressive Oilbirds 24-10 to lead by 24 points after 3 quarters.
Oilbirds, the youthful of the two teams, put their youth to good use as they outscored Valencia, now without most of the starters in the 4th quarter 28-13 in the fourth quarter, but Valencia’s 24-point lead could not have been overtaken as the former East zone champions held on for the 69-58 win.
Jeffrey Saunders scored 15 points to lead Valencia, while Fabrice Fisher scored ‘only’ 13 points.
For Morvant Oilbirds, Jaheem Jobe leads all scorers with 28 points.
The action continues at the same venue (Maloney) with a big doubleheader. Western Conference leaders Straker Nets (3-1) face the University of Trinidad and Tobago (0-1) at 6pm.
The home team Maloney Pacers (1-0) come up against the unbeaten Quarters (3-0) in a much-anticipated clash, pitting “Small” and “Fatto” against Adrian Joseph, Ako Pascal, and Jeffrey Harris from 8pm.