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
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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