The Singapore Slingers center spoke to the media after CEO Bob Turner and GM Michael Johnson had addressed the crowd at the third annual Captain's rally for the 'pride of the Lion City'. Pathman said he felt confident in playing against opponents from the region due to his familiarity and experience from years of playing for the national side.
'I'm not a stranger to playing ASEAN opponents; I've been playing basketball for Singapore for almost ten years now,' said the 6-7 forward/center. 'Played against a lot of the players from Southeast Asia for the past few years, so it's nothing new to me.'
'I'm really looking forward to playing those players again. But we are playing in a different team now; a team which has more Singaporeans with seven local players. Six of them are playing professional basketball for the very first time. I've been playing for four years.'
'It's a very big step up for the new guys, and they will have to prove themselves worthy of a spot in the team.'
'It's not going to be easy playing in the ABL, because we playing with many first-timers, but we're going to have four or five imports, which is going to balance out that inexperience,' added Pathman. 'These guys are going to add experience and strength to the team.'
'So if everything works out, we're going to have a very good blend of youth and experience - guys who have played at the highest level and guys who are coming up; trying to prove that they belong at this level. It's something to forward to, and it's going to be exciting.'
'At the very least, we have our own league, and it's going to be competitive. There are going to be league standings, teams playing for the playoffs, and even a grand final, which is good compared to last season where we only played friendlies, inviting teams over to play exhibition games. Nothing to look forward to, as we won't finish first, second, third or fourth. Just play the friendly, finish it, next game. Play another friendly, finish that, next game.'
The stout Singapore post player is looking forward to taking what he's learnt from playing in the Australian ABL and applying it against his adversaries in the ABL.
'Playing against those guys [in the NBL] taught me a lot of things, because those guys are stronger,' stated Pathman. 'Those guys may be 6-9, 6-10, but they're not really that slow. They are pretty quick on the court. Me being 6-7, playing against guys are bigger, stronger and faster, it only can help you improve.'
'You know you're going to get stronger, you know you're going to get faster playing against superior competition. So it really helped me a lot. I basically knew where I stood, playing at that level.'
'Coming back to the Asian level, I've already played at a high level, so my job will be to play hard at every game, use what I've learnt from that NBL experience in this Asian league; teach and encourage the youngsters, tell them what's right and what's wrong,' added the 29-year-old. 'I'm going to take more of a leadership role, be a big brother to the younger players.'
Finally, when asked to compare the local game in Singapore to the regional Southeast version of it, Pathman expressed that the difference in standard was like day and night.
'It's a huge, huge,huge step up,' exclaimed Pathman. 'It is way above the level of what we're used to; what basketball used to be like in Singapore.'
'Playing basketball locally and playing ball regionally is very different. The standard of the sport regionally is a lot, lot higher.'
'People think that Singaporeans playing Thais or Indonesians will be similar to us playing our peers locally, but it's not,' continued the Singapore international. 'Guys in the region do take their basketball very seriously, and they do have very good leagues and national sides.'
'Their players are all very good, which will make the ABL very competitive. It will be extremely competitive this year. And playing in the ABL, if you win you're the king of Southeast Asia, a king of Asia. You get bragging rights, be it a win against a Thai team or a Filipino team.'
'We're looking forward to the challenge, and playing in the league will only raise the basketball level of Singapore.'
Slingers Return to ABL Finals With Sweep of Alab Pilipinas - 19 days ago
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Slowly but surely, fans packing the Baliwag Star Arena made their way towards the exit, as shot after shot of the Singapore Slingers found their mark in the fourth quarter. As the lead continued to grow, the inevitable became clearer: The Lion City would return to the Finals once again. Behind the stellar play of Xavier Alexander (198-G-88, college: S.Nazarene) and a breakout game from Heritage Import Joshua Urbiztondo (185-PG-83, college: Fresno Pacific) in his return to the Philippines,... [read more]
Slowly but surely, fans packing the Baliwag Star Arena made their way towards the exit, as shot after shot of the Singapore Slingers found their mark in the fourth quarter. As the lead continued to grow, the inevitable became clearer: The Lion City would return to the Finals once again. Behind the stellar play of Xavier Alexander (198-G-88, college: S.Nazarene) and a breakout game from Heritage Import Joshua Urbiztondo (185-PG-83, college: Fresno Pacific) in his return to the Philippines, the Slingers led from the start and and punched the first ASEAN Basketball League Finals ticket with a 82-64 win over Alab Pilipinas. Alexander was rock solid for the Slingers once again, as he finished with 21 points, 12 rebounds, 5 assists and 2 steals. Urbiztondo contributed a season high 20 points on 4-8 from the three point area, along with with 5 rebounds and 6 assists. 'Everything was on the line,' Slingers' Leon Kwek shared. 'It was a do or die game for them, for us it was about closing it out.' The Philippine-based squad immediately began the game with a handicap, as MVP candidate Ray Parks Jr. was ruled out because of an ankle injury sustained in Game 1 of the Semis. Guard Jeric Fortuna (173-PG-91) was also unavailable due to a separate injury. That led local star Kiefer Isaac Ravena (181-G/F-93), in only his second game with the team, to try and extend Alab's season without Parks. 'It's unfortunate he [Parks] had the injury,' Xavier Alexander said. 'But whoever's out there, that's who we're out there with, and that's who we're gonna battle with.' The first quarter started out promisingly, as Alab was able to keep in step with the Slingers early on. Ravena took control of the team in scoring and facilitating, and also got help from an active Lawrence Domingo in the paint. However Slingers World Import Xavier Alexander took control pushing the tempo and scoring at will. Wong Wei Long and Kwek also contributed on offense to finish on a 13-2 run to end the first quarter up 24-14. Foul trouble hit Alab hard, as Ravena was whistled for his third foul in the second quarter. As a result, Ravena had to sit out majority of the second quarter. That's where the Slingers hit hard. The lead ballooned to 20 points at the 3:30 mark before eventually settling on a 47-29 lead at the half. Sensing the need to strike, the Philippines would attempt a comeback early in the third quarter as they went on an 8-1 run. Alexander would respond with an emphatic slam on Lawrence Domingo, squashing the momentum of the home team. But it seemed like every time Alab threatened to make a run, the Slingers were ready for them. This time, it was Joshua Urbiztondo that would find the mark, as he scattered 7 points in the quarter to keep Singapore ahead. However timely threes from Ravena and Jens Knuttel kept Alab within striking distance, as the deficit dwindled to only six points before finally ending the quarter down 9, 60-51. That would be prove to be as close as Alab could get, as the Slingers simply overwhelmed their opponents in the payoff period. Singapore opened the fourth in style in a 9-2, spearheaded by reigning MVP Wong Wei Long. Finally unshackled from foul trouble. Urbiztondo piled it on via shots from the perimeter and drives in the paint, as the lead climbed to 19 with 6:17 left. His final field goal of the game, a three pointer with 2:16 left would be the final nail in the coffin, as the Slingers would not let up until the final buzzer sounded. Aside from the game-long brilliance of Alexander and Urbiztondo, big man Justin Howard (209-C-81, college: Mercer) also had a solid 18 points, 14 rebounds and 2 blocks. Local stars Kwek and Wong were also a big factor, as they contributed 10 and 8 points respectively. Domingo paced Alab Pilipinas with 18 points and 13 rebounds. Ravena had 16 points, 4 rebounds and 4 assists in the losing effort. 'I think the whole team is very excited to get back to the Finals,' Wong shared after the victory 'What we're trying to do is play like a team and be strong in the Finals and be mentally prepared.' The unselfishness was evident from the start, as the Slingers racked up 19 assists compared to only 11 for Alab. They also found the range from downtown, shooting 7/16 for 43% from downtown. The Philippines wound up only 2/15 from the perimeter. 'It's all about the team,' Wong shared. 'Everyone encourages one another- I think that's where we stand out. We play as a team, our offense is set with discipline, and that brings us together.' 'We're not a one man team,' the reigning MVP added. 'Whoever is on the floor knows their job and how to do it.' With the win, the Slingers now await their opponent in the ABL Finals, as the Hong Kong Eastern Long Lions and Saigon Heat prepare for Game 2 of their series. But no matter which squad they face, one thing's for sure: The Slingers have unfinished business, and they're excited for another opportunity to take care of it. 'This is what I came back for,' Alexander bared as he headed back to the Slingers' team bus. 'This is what me and Justin talked about this summer, and now we're finally there.' Courtesy of: aseanbasketballleague.com
Singapore Slingers set to face Alab Pilipinas in 2016-17 ABL Semi Finals - 1 month ago
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The 2016-17 ABL Semi Finals Series are now locked in with the #1 seed Hong Kong Eastern Long Lions (15-4) to face #4 seed Saigon Heat (8-10) in one semi final series while the #2 seed Singapore Slingers (12-7) will face off against #3 seed Alab Pilipinas (10-9). For the Singapore Slingers the match up with Alab should be interesting as their is a large number of basketball loving Filipinos living and working in Singapore who are expected to snap up the play-off tickets [read more]
The 2016-17 ABL Semi Finals Series are now locked in with the #1 seed Hong Kong Eastern Long Lions (15-4) to face #4 seed Saigon Heat (8-10) in one semi final series while the #2 seed Singapore Slingers (12-7) will face off against #3 seed Alab Pilipinas (10-9). For the Singapore Slingers the match up with Alab should be interesting as their is a large number of basketball loving Filipinos living and working in Singapore who are expected to snap up the play-off tickets. Slingers management are calling on the local basketball community to get out and support their home team which is led by local Singaporean head coach Neo Beng Siang and features 9 local Singaporeans in the Slingers 12 man roster. After a herrendous run of player injuries during the 2016-17 regular season the Slingers hope to be back to near full strength by the time their semi final series tips off on Sunday 2nd April at OCBC Arena in Singapore. Courtesy of: singaporeslingers.com
Xin Hua Sports Club wins ActiveSG-BAS National Masters Cup 2017 - 1 month ago
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Hua Sports Club have won ActiveSG-BAS National Masters Cup 2017 last night. In the Final game they beat Freeman 64-57. Hong Liang Electronics meanwhile clinched third place defeating PCW & Partners (Blue) 50-40.
Earlier in the semifinals Freeman posted a 65-53 win over PCW & Partners. Singapore Xin Hua Sports Club won a thriller against Hong Liang Electronics 61-58. [read more]
Hua Sports Club have won ActiveSG-BAS National Masters Cup 2017 last night. In the Final game they beat Freeman 64-57. Hong Liang Electronics meanwhile clinched third place defeating PCW & Partners (Blue) 50-40. Earlier in the semifinals Freeman posted a 65-53 win over PCW & Partners. Singapore Xin Hua Sports Club won a thriller against Hong Liang Electronics 61-58.
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