Singapore Supras clinch SBL title to cap unbeaten season.
They headed into the final with a 15-0 unbeaten record, and the Singapore Supras capped off their "invincible" season by claiming the 2016 Pro-Am Singapore Basketball League (SBL) title yesterday. Watched by 1,000 spectators at the Delta Sports Complex, the Supras trounced surprise packages GHUB Sports Club 78-53 in the final to be the first team in the SBL's three-year history to finish a season undefeated. Launched in December 2013, the SBL is a 12-team semi-professional league played over five months. It is the brainchild of former Serbian basketballer Zoran Vasiljev, now a Singaporean. The league has seen more than 24,000 visitors to games in the past five months, and boasts 260 registered players with 18 imported players and coaches. Supras forward Jemell Swafford (196-F-85, college: Cal.Baptist) put in a stellar performance yesterday as he finished with a game-high 23 points and added seven rebounds, seven steals and four assists. "It's hard enough to play the game of basketball, but to go undefeated and try to set a record that's never been done here, you kind of feel like the (Golden State) Warriors," said 30-year-old Swafford, referring to the NBA defending champions, who are two wins away from beating the 1995-96 Chicago Bulls' record of 72 wins. PRESSURE "There's a lot of pressure because everybody is waiting for you to slip up so they can say, 'I told you they weren't good enough'." Swafford paid tribute to GHUB, the rookie team who defeated last season's runners-up AMK Bravehearts 80-74 in the semi-finals. "They're a really good team and I'm proud of their imports and organisation because a lot of people didn't think they would go all the way to the final," he said. "I tip my hat off to them." The Supras, conquerors of defending champions Falcons Basketball in the semi-finals, were never really threatened as they led throughout the match, with Swafford proving to be a powerful presence up front. The American also showed off his all-round game by posting four steals as his team entered half-time with a whopping 22-point lead. After the break, Swafford and guard Spencer Templeton were simply unstoppable for the Supras, combining for 40 points. PERFECTION Supras coach Sergei Belyakov praised his charges for executing his game plan to perfection. "Normally, Swafford is our go-to guy and he has a very peculiar ability to find the ball under the bucket. We feed him all the time as he's also a prolific shooter and a good stealer," said the American. " (Centre) Jeffers Kyle (207-C-85, college: Oregon St.) also did everything he's supposed to today; lots of rebounds and lots of open shots, especially in the paint." Belyakov played down the lopsided scoreline, saying that it was a very "intense" game. "The three imports in GHUB kept the pace going, but we designed a plan to defend against them and that's why they didn't score as much as they normally do," he added. "We balanced three-point shooting and bringing the ball inside really well, so I'm very happy the guys fulfilled the task I asked them to."
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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