Wherever the Singapore Slingers are hiding their proverbial switch, opposing teams have yet to find where it is. The Slingers once again turned the switch on during crunch time as they overcame a sluggish start and stunned the Westports Malaysia Dragons, 78-77, in a double-overtime thriller Sunday, January 8 at the OCBC Arena in Singapore. 'I'm pretty happy (with the win) because it is no secret: we just believed. We, the coaches, just kept telling them be calm, be disciplined to get ourselves more positive and, of course, we needed to tell everybody to believe,' Slingers head coach Neo Beng Siang said. Wong Wei Long (187-G-88) and Leon Kwek came up big in the fourth and overtime periods while Alexander Xavier (198-G-88, college: S.Nazarene) scored the biggest basket of the game - a driving lay-up in the final five seconds of the second extension off a Dragons turnover to hand the Slingers their seventh win in the season and the Straits Cup title as well. Alexander finished with a team-high 25 points to go along with 9 rebounds, 8 assists, and 5 steals. Howard Justin (208-C-81, college: Mercer) added an all-around effort as well, tallying 22 points (10-of-17 field goals), 10 rebounds, 4 steals, and 4 blocks. Wong had a rare double-double of 17 points and 14 rebounds. He scored 14 in the final quarter and overtime periods. The Dragons' unforgiving defense held the Slingers down to just 24 points in the middle two quarters and 28 percent shooting. On offense, Freddie Goldstein (178-PG-88, college: S.Alabama) once again initiated the defending champions' pick and roll game which forced the Slingers to switch. The Dragons got plenty of open looks from that strategy with Goldstein himself already having 10 first quarter points. 'We punished their switching finally. I give our guys credit for forcing them to re-change their game plan. We attacked that. We were getting open looks,' Dragons head coach Christopher Thomas said. 'I loved what our offense did tonight. I didn't think they could defend us. That's big for us given they're the best defensive team in the league. For us to get the shots we were getting and the spots where we got them, I am really happy with that.' With that combination of execution on offense and solid defense from the Dragons, it looked like the Slingers were on their way to falling but again, they found a way out of the hole they dug. Still down by 5 points after Goldstein converted on back-to-back drives to the hoop, Wong delivered 5 straight points of his own, hitting a triple and a lay-up to tie the game at 59 apiece late in the fourth quarter. The Dragons had two chances to end the game in regulation, Marcus Melvin (206-F-82, college: N.Carolina St.) air-balled a three-point try under the final minute and Goldstein also came up short on his buzzer-beater attempt. In the first overtime, Wong scored five more points including an and-one conversion while Kwek hit a mid-range jumper which made it 68-62 for the Slingers. But Goldstein and Chee Kheun Ma (180-G-90) answered two straight triples to send the game to another extension. The Dragons then took a 77-72 lead although bad decisions allowed the home team to steal the game. Alexander hit a tough shot before Wong nailed two free throws which cut the deficit down to 77-76. A turnover by Spencer with just less than 20 seconds left paved the way for Alexander's go-ahead bucket. 'We just tried to read what their offense was trying to do. It took us some time. But I thought we executed well in the fourth quarter. That eventually got us back in the game,' Wong said. The final exchange summed up the difference in the game as the Slingers scored 22 points off the Dragons' 19 turnovers. The Slingers committed only nine turnovers and surrendered just six points off their miscues. They also had a 15-4 gap in fast break points and an 18-8 advantage in second chance points. 'We carried ourselves pretty well,' Beng Siang said. 'I think we executed well on both the defensive and offensive end,' Wong added. Goldstein topscored for the now 1-3 Dragons as he notched a season-high 30 points on 14-of-28 shooting. He added 6 rebounds and 7 assists although he also turned the ball over five times. Melvin added 21 points (5-of-11 3-PT FG) and 12 rebounds while Spencer had 18 points (7-of-9 FG) and 17 boards. Both teams will be on the road for their next assignments on Friday, January 13. The Slingers will face Alab Pilipinas in Binan, Laguna while the Dragons will meet the Hong Kong Eastern Long Lions in Wan Chai. Courtesy of: aseanbasketballleague.com
Make it Seven! Long Lions Continue Winning Streak at Dragons' Expense - 22 days ago
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The Hong Kong Eastern Long Lions continue to roll. On Friday, the Long Lions defeated the Westports Malaysia Dragons, 115-90, inside the House of Champions, Gem-In Mall, Cyberjaya, in Malaysia. The win marked Hong Kong's 7th straight victory and 12th overall. The 115 points scored by the Long Lions tied the ABL all-time scoring total. Incidentally, the last time a team scored that much was made by the Dragons a season ago. Everything was clicking for the Long Lions against the Dragons on... [read more]
The Hong Kong Eastern Long Lions continue to roll. On Friday, the Long Lions defeated the Westports Malaysia Dragons, 115-90, inside the House of Champions, Gem-In Mall, Cyberjaya, in Malaysia. The win marked Hong Kong's 7th straight victory and 12th overall. The 115 points scored by the Long Lions tied the ABL all-time scoring total. Incidentally, the last time a team scored that much was made by the Dragons a season ago. Everything was clicking for the Long Lions against the Dragons on Friday. Marcus Elliott (191-G-84, college: Louisiana Tech) and Josh Boone (208-F/C-84, college: Connecticut) combined for 50 points as they earned Co-Players of the Game honors, while Tyler Lamb was equally stellar with 24 points, 6 rebounds, and 6 assists. 'We prepared for the game really well,' Long Lions head coach Eduard Torres said proudly. A week earlier, the Dragons and Long Lions also met in Malaysia. In that game, the home team pushed the number one team to the limit before eventually losing in the end. It was a narrow win for Hong Kong. In fact, it was a little too close for comfort. The Long Lions knew that in a week's time they would face the Dragons once again and so they prepared rigorously for their second straight meeting. 'The whole week we've been preparing the game, thinking it must be a playoff game because they play really tough,' coach Torres went on. 'We gave our best tonight.' Hong Kong's dedication and preparation led to the 25-point win against the defending champions. 'We started to play earlier this game. The first half last game we weren't really ourselves,' observed Boone. 'This game we got out to a nine point lead at halftime and in the third quarter, we kept the pressure on them.' True enough, it was in the second half that the Long Lions flipped the switch. They scored 26 points in the third quarter and amped up their scoring even more in the last quarter when they erupted for 35 points. For Malaysia, Tian Yuan Kuek (201-C-91) was the top-scorer with 22 points, including 5-for-8 from downtown. Kuek was a solid contributor off the bench for the Dragons, but unfortunately, starters Joshua Munzon (191-G-95, college: CS Los Angeles) and Kiwi Gardner (170-PG-93, college: Providence) both had a quiet night offensively. Munzon only tallied 9 points while Gardner, despite having 18 points, only shot 33 percent from the floor. The Dragons are now 3-13 and are dead last in the team standings. On the other hand, the Long Lions remain on top with a 12-2 record. 'I don't think we have to think too much,' coach Torres said about his team's current winning streak. 'There's no time to celebrate. We just have to keep going. Tomorrow the sun will rise again and after Sunday (versus the Kaohsiung Truth), winning or losing, the sun will rise again.' Courtesy of: aseanbasketballleague.com
Guaiqueries de Margarita (LPB) signed experienced 35-year old American forward Marcus Melvin (206-110kg-82, college: North Carolina State). He just played at KL Dragons in Malaysian ASEAN League. In 9 games he had very impressive stats: 19.8ppg, 10.4rpg and 1.2apg this season. Melvin also spent pre-season at Kinmen Kaoliang Liquor (SBL) in Taiwanese league earlier that year. In 2004 he was drafted by Florence Flyers (USBL) in third round (33rd overall). Melvin attended North Carolina Stat... [read more]
Guaiqueries de Margarita (LPB) signed experienced 35-year old American forward Marcus Melvin (206-110kg-82, college: North Carolina State). He just played at KL Dragons in Malaysian ASEAN League. In 9 games he had very impressive stats: 19.8ppg, 10.4rpg and 1.2apg this season. Melvin also spent pre-season at Kinmen Kaoliang Liquor (SBL) in Taiwanese league earlier that year. In 2004 he was drafted by Florence Flyers (USBL) in third round (33rd overall). Melvin attended North Carolina State and it is his 13th (hopefully lucky) season in pro basketball. The list of the past achievements is quite long as among others he was voted Asia-Basket.com All-William Jones Cup 1st Team back in 2012. Melvin is quite experienced player. He has played in fourteen different countries on four different continents (Europe, Asia, Latin America and of course North America). Melvin has played previously professionally in Argentina (La Union, Argentino, Sionista and Quimsa), China (Jianghuai), Iran, Italy, Kuwait (Al Jahraa), Lebanon, Philippines, Portugal, Puerto Rico, Romania (Giurgiu), Turkey, Uruguay (Aguada and Bigua), Venezuela (Marinos) and D-League (Texas Legends). Melvin could be described:
Not so athletic, lefthanded PF, who fills the paint with his big body; has a great timing for the rebounds, good hands and shoots well, even behind the 3pts arch;.
Heat Finish Strong, Nab First Victory Against Dragons On The Road - 29 days ago
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Not even a tough shooting night from their leading scorer could stop the Saigon Heat from picking up a huge win in the ASEAN Basketball League season. In a game where prolific import Lenny Daniel (203-PF-87, college: CS Northridge) was held to only 11 points and in foul trouble, the Heat still had enough to overcome the Westports Malaysia Dragons, winning 95-84 on the road. Heritage Import Moses Morgan led the way for the Heat with 24 points on 3/6 from three point area. He also had seven... [read more]
Not even a tough shooting night from their leading scorer could stop the Saigon Heat from picking up a huge win in the ASEAN Basketball League season. In a game where prolific import Lenny Daniel (203-PF-87, college: CS Northridge) was held to only 11 points and in foul trouble, the Heat still had enough to overcome the Westports Malaysia Dragons, winning 95-84 on the road. Heritage Import Moses Morgan led the way for the Heat with 24 points on 3/6 from three point area. He also had seven rebounds and 3 steals. 'I just came out here, made a few shots did what i can on the defensive end,' Morgan said. 'We came in here, put it together, and got a win.' The Dragons were the aggressor early on in the game, as they opened with a 12-0 run in the first quarter that threatened to make short work of the visiting team. But the Heat would respond by scoring 11 straight points to get back into the ballgame. Morgan scored 8 points in the run, and a field goal by David Arnold (188-SG, college: Mont.St.-Billings) gave the Heat the lead with 1:57 remaining. The Dragons would reclaim the lead once again, but Arnold finished the quarter with triple at the buzzer that tied the game at 22 at the end of the first. The second quarter was a back and forth affair, as both teams traded shots left and right in a high scoring affair. Dragons Heritage Import Joshua Munzon (191-G-95, college: CS Los Angeles), who began the season as the Heat's import, had the highlight of the quarter, throwing down a booming dunk with 4:14 remaining. The Heat entered the half holding a slim one point lead, 48-47. Things got heated in the third quarter, as both teams continued to battle on the defensive end. Daniel gave up a tough foul on a driving Munzon, which the youngster didn't appreciate. Tempers flared up, with Heat's Anthony Henriquez and Munzon getting into it. Saigon responded by executing in the half court set, with Nguyen Van Hung and Stefan Nguyen (190-G-92) contributing via getting several baskets off of baseline cuts. The Heat opened up their biggest lead of the game at 10 points with 2:33 remaining before Ivan Yeo hit a tough triple to keep the Dragons in the thick of the fight. Saigon would end the quarter with a six point, putting them in a good position to grab a big win on the road. They did exactly that, as they went to their leaders to seal the deal in the final quarter. Stellar shooting from Viet Arnold led the way, as the fiery guard notched 8 points all in the quarter. 'Coach puts the ball in my hand in the fourth, and I just attack and make the read,' Arnold said. 'Whether it's a pass or a score, I just try to make the right plays. I just want to win.' But despite Arnold's hot shooting, it was Stefan Nguyen who scored the biggest basket of the game for Saigon. With 1:20 remaining in the quarter, Nguyen penetrated and scored over Malaysia's Kiwi Gardner (170-PG-93, college: Providence), finishing with the basket and the foul. That would give the Heat an 8 point lead which would be enough of a cushion for them to finish off the home team. 'I was pretty proud of how we overcame some adversity in this game,' Saigon Head Coach Tony Garelotto said. 'I'm proud that the team showed desire to win games. To me, when we've won this year, we played as hard as we can.' Aside from Morgan, the Heat got key contributions from several local players. Stefan Nguyen celebrated his birthday in style, scoring a season high 13 points and dishing 3 assists. Hung Nguyen and Nguyen Phuc Tam combined for 10 points. Phuc Tam nailed two triples in the contest, while Hung battled in the paint for Daniel who was in foul trouble, to the delight of Coach Garbelotto. 'We get crushed all the time about our local players, but there he is coming in for Lenny in a critical situation, and he gives us points, rebounding, and key plays. I'm very proud he was able to contribute at last.' Kiwi Gardner led Malaysia with 25 points, 5 rebounds and 6 assists, while Skylar Spencer (208-F/C-94, college: San Diego St.) had a double-double of 20 points and 14 rebounds. Munzon had 16 points in the game, though he struggled shooting at a 5/24 clip. 'It was a must win,' Arnold said of their matchup with the Dragons. 'There's no option but to win. If we lose this game, we're down 3-0 [in the series versus Malaysia]. 'We need every win we can get.' With the victory, the Heat are now at 4-8, as they inch closer to the Kaohsiung Truth (5-9) in the race for the fourth seed in the Playoffs. They return to the CIS Arena in Saigon to face Alab Pilipinas on Sunday, February 26. The Dragons (3-11) will need to shake off this loss immediately, as they face the league leading Hong Kong Eastern Long Lions on Sunday, February 26 in Gem-In Mall, Cyberjaya. Courtesy of: aseanbasketballleague.com
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