He played in the last edition of the Merlion Cup held in 1996, and in two weeks, Neo Beng Siang will again be keenly involved as the basketball tournament makes a comeback from a 20-year hiatus. This time around, Neo, who turns 55 later this month, will be in a coaching role as the Singapore Slingers fly the nation's flag in the six-team professional club tournament taking place at the OCBC Arena from Sep 21-25. Playing in Group A, the Slingers are up against the Kinmen Kaoliang Liquor from Taiwan and the Shanghai Sharks, a team owned by Chinese basketball legend Yao Ming. Group B features the Seoul Samsung Thunder from South Korea, Filipino side Mighty Sports and reigning ASEAN Basketball League (ABL) champion, Westports Malaysia Dragons. The Slingers have set themselves a modest target of reaching the semi-finals. But given the quality of the opposition, winning just the one group game that would get them there would be a tall order, something Neo acknowledges. But the former national captain is excited simply to have the opportunity to expose his players to a higher level of competition, while casting his eyes on the new season of the ABL, and the Southeast Asian (SEA) Games next year. He said: 'The Merlion Cup is an opportunity for our boys to play against better teams, such as from China and Korea. We enjoyed a good run last year after qualifying for the Asian Championships, and played against the top teams, and it helped as our players had to face bigger-sized players in every position. 'It pushed our players to another level, and the experience gained meant they were able to play without fear when faced with similar situations.' While the ABL allows for each team to employ four imported players - two each from ASEAN and non-ASEAN countries - the Slingers have over the years stuck to the philosophy of hiring only three, so as to free up an extra spot for a local player. This has helped with the development of the Singapore national team, as evidenced by the bronze medals in the past two SEA Games. And it is that long-term vision to grow Singapore basketball that has seen the Slingers franchise work hand-in-glove with the Basketball Association of Singapore (BAS) to ensure the needs of both are met. BAS' president, David Ong, said it is a good time for the Merlion Cup to be revived, especially as the association has been able to muster up the S$500,000 in funding the organise the tournament. He said: 'We've been seeing good crowds for basketball games held here, and we want to leverage that and put on another marquee event for the fans. We were able to get enough support from our partners and sponsors, and riding on the success and interest of basketball in tournaments such as the SEA Games and ticket sales for other matches held here, we feel that this event is timely. 'And with the Slingers helping to develop our national players with their participation in the ABL, we're more than happy to provide this platform for our players to go up against teams of international standing.' Preparations for the Slingers leading up to the Merlion Cup have been limited to a session a day, with Singapore players involved in the ongoing national basketball league which wraps up next week. And Neo has had to find replacements for local players Delvin Goh, Toh Qing Huang and John Ng, all of whom have entered National Service. The Slingers have retained their two American imports, Alexander Xavier (198-G-88, college: S.Nazarene) and Justin Howard (208-C-81, college: Mercer), who will only arrive back on Sep 10, while Filipino point guard Jeff Viernes flies in next week to be trialled during the Merlion Cup. A good showing will lock Viernes in as replacement for last season's standout Kris Rosales (183-G, college: Hope International), who has left for Tropang TNT in the top-tier Philippine Basketball Association league. Neo recalled how Merlion Cup games of yore could attract sell-out crowds at the 10,000-seater Singapore Indoor Stadium, especially if they featured the China national team and a side from either Russia or the United States. And he is certain the 3,500-capacity OCBC Arena would be packed for the five days of the upcoming Merlion Cup. 'Let's fill every seat and get the momentum back for basketball in Singapore,' he said. 'The players need the atmosphere, and I'm sure they'll deliver great entertainment for the fans.' Courtesy of: channelnewsasia.com
Xin Hua Sports Club wins ActiveSG-BAS National Masters Cup 2017 - 3 days ago
follow us on
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.
Luke Schenscher (ex Townsville H.) is a newcomer at Singapore Slingers - 1 month ago
follow us on
Jobstreet.com Singapore Slingers (ASEAN League) strengthened their roster with addition of experienced 35-year old Australian ex-international center Luke Schenscher (216-120kg-82, college: Georgia Tech). He played last summer at Townsville Heat in Australian QBL. In 11 games he recorded 14.6ppg, 6.6rpg and 1.6apg. Schenscher helped them to win the regular season and make it to the semifinals. The last season he played at Townsville Crocodiles (NBL) in Australian league where in 13 games... [read more]
Jobstreet.com Singapore Slingers (ASEAN League) strengthened their roster with addition of experienced 35-year old Australian ex-international center Luke Schenscher (216-120kg-82, college: Georgia Tech). He played last summer at Townsville Heat in Australian QBL. In 11 games he recorded 14.6ppg, 6.6rpg and 1.6apg. Schenscher helped them to win the regular season and make it to the semifinals. The last season he played at Townsville Crocodiles (NBL) in Australian league where in 13 games he averaged 4.1ppg and 3.2rpg. The list of the past achievements is quite long as among others Schenscher received Australiabasket.com All-Australian NBL Center of the Year award back in 2011. He was a member of Australian international program for some years. Schenscher was called to Australian Senior National Team between 2001 and 2011 and previously for U21 National Team in 2001. He is quite experienced player. Thanks to Schenscher's pro career he managed to play on three different continents (Europe, Australia and of course North America) in four different countries. Schenscher has played previously professionally in Germany (Brose Baskets), NBA (Chicago Bulls), Australia (Adelaide 36ers, Perth Wildcats and Eastern Mavericks) and D-League (Ft.Worth F.). It's very possible he may end his playing career at Singapore Slingers. Schenscher attended Georgia Tech until 2005 and it will be his twelfth (!!!) season as a professional player. The scouts decsribe him following way:
Intelligent player who became a consistent scorer around the basket, an excellent passer and a solid defender in the post ... Excellent passer for a big man, and can score with either hand.
Slingers Continue Mastery Over Rival Dragons in Another OT Thriller - 1 month ago
follow us on
For the fourth straight time, the Singapore Slingers found a way to outplay the defending champions Westports Malaysia Dragons. On Friday night, the Slingers got a hard-earned overtime 112-110 win over the Dragons at the House of Champions, Gem-In Mall, in Cyberjaya, Malaysia. Singapore's two World imports Xavier Alexander (198-G-88, college: S.Nazarene) and Justin Howard (209-C-81, college: Mercer) powered their way into monster numbers in the victory. Howard tallied 32 points, 11 reboun... [read more]
For the fourth straight time, the Singapore Slingers found a way to outplay the defending champions Westports Malaysia Dragons. On Friday night, the Slingers got a hard-earned overtime 112-110 win over the Dragons at the House of Champions, Gem-In Mall, in Cyberjaya, Malaysia. Singapore's two World imports Xavier Alexander (198-G-88, college: S.Nazarene) and Justin Howard (209-C-81, college: Mercer) powered their way into monster numbers in the victory. Howard tallied 32 points, 11 rebounds, and 5 assists. Alexander meanwhile put up 34 points, even going 16-for-22 from the line, and pulled down 15 rebounds. He also did damage on the defensive end with 6 steals. In another highly-contested and certainly action-packed game, both teams displayed incredible grit and fortitude. Alexander rescued the Slingers from the jaws of defeat as he forced the overtime period. He sank three-free throws and got two steals in the overtime period but it was Wei Long Wong (187-G-88) who sealed the win after making two free throws with 20 seconds left to extend their lead 112-108. 'We came out with a team spirt. We full court pressed them. We got into our game,' Slingers head coach Neo Beng Siang said. The Dragons had a 10-point lead late in the second period thanks largely to their latest addition, Kiwi Gardner (170-PG-93, college: Providence). The point guard came out firing and the Dragons played inspired as they had a 52-43 advantage heading into halftime. All momentum was in favor of the Dragons until the Slingers finally woke up in the third period. Slingers employed pressure defense to slow down Kiwi Gardner and executed better offensively. As a result, they overwhelmed the Dragons in the third period, outscoring them, 32-16. The tide shifted towards the visiting team heading into the final frame. Singapore even mounted an 8-point lead, 88-80, in the last six minutes of the game. However, the Dragons had a run of their own to cut down the deficit. The Slingers have had a couple of games this season wherein they would blow leads in the dying minutes. In their previous game, they even allowed the Hong Kong Eastern Long Lions to come out of a 20-point hole. 'Stamina wise, we are undermanned,' explained coach Siang. 'We need to get ourselves adjusted to that.' Malaysia got the lead momentarily off of Skylar Spencer (208-F/C-94, college: San Diego St.)'s free throws. Fortunately for the Slingers, Alexander was there to save them, hitting a tough shot underneath the basket with three seconds left to force overtime. In the extra session, the Slingers were able to execute on both ends of the floor to seal the win. Kiwi Gardner, the Dragons' latest recruit, tried valiantly to carry his team. He finished with 37 points, including 5 three-pointers, 8 assists, and 7 steals in his ABL debut. He suffered cramps early in the fourth quarter and was in-and-out of their lineup in the closing moments of overtime. 'Kiwi Gardner today killed us. Luckily, he's not fit right now. But he's a good insert for the KL Dragons,' coach Siang commended. 'He's amazing. He got 37 points in his first game. We expected him to go for 40 because we heard about him. He's quick, he's fast.' After playing his career game in their last win, Ng Han Bin had another good shooting night as he made 4 of his 6 triples and scored 13 points. Wei Long and Leon Kwek combined for 20 points. For Westports Malaysia, Spencer and Joshua Munzon served as Kiwi Gardner's main back-ups. The World import finished with 27 points and 16 rebounds while the Heritage had 19 points and 4 steals but he was not able to finish the games as he fouled out in the extra period. The Slingers improve to a 10-3 record with this win. They've now finished their season series with both the Dragons and the Long Lions. 'The most important thing for us is we're trying to get us is trying to get the home-court advantage,' the coach concluded. Courtesy of: aseanbasketballleague.com
Copyright (c) 1998-2017 Eurobasket Inc. Disclaimer
Do not copy, redistribute, publish or otherwise exploit information that you download from the site !
Do not encumber, license, modify, publish, sell, transfer or transmit, or in any way exploit, any of the
content of the site, nor will you attempt to do so.