ABL10: 🏀Singapore Slingers 68 – 79 KL Dragons🏀
We snapped the Singapore Slingers’ 10 game streak over us with a 79-68 victory at the OCBC Arena, Singapore to take Game 1 of the 2020 Straits Cup.
We came into Singapore missing the services of our big men, Simeon Lepichev and Captain Kuek Tian Yuan.
As expected, the first quarter was a close affair against our causeway rivals. There was little to separate both teams before three pointers from Ting Chun Hong and Nicholas Tem Zhen Jie pushed our lead to six.
The Slinger’s World Import MVP, Xavier Alexander scored four straight points to make it a two point game before Will Artino sinked a hook shot to give us a 21-17 first quarter lead.
Coming into the game, Singapore Slingers boasted the best defense in the league. However, it was our turn to put on a defensive masterclass in the second quarter. We held the Slingers to only two field goals for the entire quarter and didn’t let up on our offense.
A Will Artino layup with five minutes remaining pushed our leads to double digits and we increased it to 15 going into the half-time break thanks to a pair of Nicholas Tem Zhen Jie three pointers.
The Slingers came out of the break on fire as Delvin Goh scored six straight points to lead them on an 11-2 run, cutting the lead to only six. We needed our own spark and Cade Davis provide it with a jumper to spark a 9-0 run of our own, pushing our lead back to 15.
The run stunned the Slingers once again as we extended our lead to 20 going into the final quarter thanks to a buzzer beating long jumper from Will Artino.
Our lead rose to as high as 23 in the fourth thanks to a Cade Davis three before the Slingers went on a run of their own to close out the game.
Despite the Slingers’ efforts, we closed out the game comfortably to deal the Slingers their first double digits home loss of the season.
The win pushes our record back to above .500 as we now stand at 7-6, leapfrogging the Slingers to move into fifth in the standings.
Our Player Of The Game was Will Artino with a season high 32 points, 16 rebounds and 4 blocks. Cade Davis had 17 points while Amir Bell also had a productive game with 11 points, 6 rebounds and 7 assists. Our top local performer was our veteran shooter Loh Shee Fai with 6 points and 6 rebounds.
A gritty performance saw us hold the Slingers to 38% shooting and limited them to only 3 pointers. It was also a stellar night on the boards for us, as we out-rebounded the current league leaders in 52-47.
After the game, Head Coach Jamie Pearlman said “Extremely pleased with the team tonight after we went 0-4 against them last season. Taking the first game of the series tonight was a fantastic effort from the team. We were so tough defensively, restricting them to only 23 at the half. Our guy’s commitment to defense was just tremendous tonight and that absolutely set us up for the win.”
Game 2 of the 2020 Straits Cup will take place this Sunday, 16th of February 2020 at MABA Stadium, Kuala Lumpur at 2.30 PM.
A win for us or a losing margin of less than 11 will ensure we bring the Straits Cup home for the first time since 2016.
Fans can purchase their tickets at tickethotline.com.my or at MABA Stadium on game day.
Fans can also catch the game on Astro Arena and ASEAN Basketball League’s social media pages.