ABL10: 🏀KL Dragons 87 – 88 Singapore Slingers🏀
We brought home the Straits Cup for the first time since 2016 despite dropping to a tough heartbreaking 87-88 overtime loss to the Singapore Slingers.
We started the game positively as we built an early seven point first quarter lead thanks to a turnaround jumper from Simeon Lepichev. However, last season’s runners up showed their mettle, finishing the quarter on a 4-0 run to trim the score to 21-18.
The second quarter remained a close affair and the Slingers were able to take the lead thanks to an Anthony McClain second chance basket midway through the quarter. We were able to regain the lead thanks to a Cade Davis three with two minutes remaining. Unfortunately, the visitors once again closed the quarter on a 4-0 run to claim a three point lead going into the break.
Despite Cade Davis tying the game for us early in the third, we struggled to contain Slingers’ local big, Delvin Goh, who led the Slingers on a 8-0 run, building their lead to as high as eight.
Nonetheless as Delvin shot well for the Slingers, we found our form from range as well, with an Amir Bell three pointer sparking a 10-2 run to eventually tie the game. Cade Davis kept our run going with his hot shooting and eventually we pushed the lead to four to close out the third quarter.
It was a difficult start to our fourth quarter as we were held scoreless for the first six minutes and the Slingers went on a 12-0 run to push their lead back to eight. A Will Artino free throw finally broke our barren run with four minutes remaining.
That free throw enough was to get us going again as Amir Bell and Cade Davis combined to cut the lead to only one with less than two minutes remaining. A pair of Delvin Goh free throws pushed the visitors lead to three with less than a minute remaining to force a timeout on our end.
Off the timeout, Cade Davis sinked another three to tie the game. We were able to stop the Slingers on their next offence but unfortunately Davis wasn’t able to make the game winning basket as we headed to our first home overtime game of the season.
The game remained intense in overtime and despite the Slingers building a four point lead, baskets from Amir Bell and Will Artino tied the game with a minute remaining.
Taking advantage of Slingers’ free throw woes, we had a chance to win the game as Will Artino made his free throws to give us a one point lead with seventeen seconds remaining.
The next play did not go our way as Xavier Alexander was fouled and given two free throws with two seconds remaining. Alexander missed both his attempts but Slinger’s big man, Anthony McClain was able to tip in the offensive basket to send us to our seventh loss of the season.
With that loss, our record now stands at 7-7.
Our best performer today was Cade Davis with a season high 37 points, including nine three pointers. Will Artino logged in 16 points, 17 rebounds and 5 assists while Amir Bell dropped 18 points and eight assists.
After the game, Head Coach Jamie Pearlman said, “We were outmuscled today. Xavier Alexander was a powerhouse today, carrying them to the win. We’re obviously very disappointed but that’s the league, it can be anyone’s day on any given day. We will regroup and get ready for Alab in three days time.”
We next face the league’s current second placed team, San Miguel Alab Pilipinas on the 19th of February, 8.30 PM at MABA Stadium, Kuala Lumpur. Our last encounter on the 4th of February saw us pick up the 93-61 victory.
Since then, Alab Pilipinas rebounded with a 82-75 win over the Saigon Heat to solidify their position in second place with a 9-5 record.
Fans can purchase tickets at kldragons.com/ticket or at the MABA Stadium on game day.
Fans can also catch the game on Astro Arena and ASEAN Basketball League’s social media pages.