ABL10: 🏀Singapore Slingers 68 – 77 KL Dragons🏀
For the first time ever in our ASEAN Basketball League history, we secured a 100% regular season road record against the Singapore Slingers with a 77-68 victory at the OCBC Arena, Singapore.
Just like our previous overtime game, the first quarter was a closely contested affair. An Amir Bell three gave us an early five point lead but the Slingers were able to then hit us with a 12-2 run to take their own five point lead. A Simeon Lepichev left handed hookshot ensured the lead was only three at the end of the first.
It was a tough start to our second quarter as the Slingers hit us with a 7-0 run to establish a 10 point lead to force an early timeout. Off the timeout, it was our turn with an Amir Bell pull up jumper sparking an 11-2 run to make it a one point game.
Despite struggling from beyond the arc, Cade Davis still got his offence going late in the second quarter, completing a basket and winning a foul to finally regain our lead with three minutes remaining. Davis’ nine second quarter points ensured we took a three point 39-36 lead going into the half time break.
The first half of the third quarter was a firefight between our teams as we kept trading baskets, keeping the lead at three. We finally had a breakthrough with less than five minutes remaining as three pointers from Simeon Lepichev and Ting Chun Hong increased our lead to eight.
The current reigning World Import MVP, Xavier Alexander then took over the game, scoring nine points to close out the quarter, trimming the lead back to three.
A Leon Kwek three pointer tied the game for the hosts to start the quarter, but we kept our cool and our twin towers Simeon Lepichev and Will Artino combined to make it a two basket game. A momentum crunching three pointer from our veteran Loh Shee Fai made it a seven point game with six minutes remaining to force a Slingers timeout.
Off the timeout, the Slingers still could not break our momentum, as our import trio combined for a 6-0 run to give us our highest lead of the game at 13. The lead remained at 13 with 2 minutes remaining thanks to a Cade Davis jumper.
Despite the Slinger’s late efforts, our hold on the game was never threatened, and we finished with the 77-68 victory, sending our record to 9-7 to solidify our position at fourth.
Our best performer was Amir Bell with 18 points, 5 rebounds and 5 assists on an efficient 57% shooting day. Simeon Lepichev and Will Artino both had 16 points and 9 rebounds. Artino also logged in four blocks. Despite not scoring any three pointers, Cade Davis still managed to contribute 15 points.
It was a strong defensive performance from us as we held the Slingers to 37% shooting and held them to well below their season average of 81.5 points per game. We also made it a tough day for the Slingers beyond the arc, allowing them only three three pointers.
After the game, Head Coach Jamie Pearlman said, “It was a really physical game. Our defence in the paint was key. When we were able to secure our defensive rebounds, we were able to get out and run and put pressure on the rim.”
Our next encounter will see us welcome the league leading Mono Vampire to MABA Stadium for the first time this season on the 1st of March 2020 at 2.30 PM.
Coming in with an impressive record of 12-4, the Thai team are on a three game winning streak and boast an immensely talented and deep roster, led by their marquee players, Mike Singletary and Tyler Lamb.
Our two meetings against the Thais earlier this season saw us take two close single digit losses and we will be keen to avenge those two losses at the Dragon’s Den and show we can challenge the league’s best.
Fans can purchase tickets for the game at www.kldragons.com/ticket and at MABA Stadium on game day, subject to availability.
Fans can also catch the game live on Astro Arena and ASEAN Basketball League’s social media pages.