It was a special game this afternoon as the JobStreet.com Singapore Slingers welcomed the Saigon Heat wearing special edition pink jerseys in a bid to raise awareness for the Singapore Cancer Society.
“We have actually worked with a few charity organisations in Singapore over the past six years but cancer is a disease that has touched several members of the Slingers organisation and their families, so cancer awareness has a special place in our hearts.” Michael Johnson, General Manager of the Slingers said in an interview before the game. “Sport has always had the ability to bring people together, especially team sports. No matter race, religion or cultures, sport has shown an innate ability to bring communities together.”
This match-up marks the second year in a row in which the Slingers partnered up with the Singapore Cancer Society. The team has also put their special edition jerseys up for auction, the proceeds of which will go to the Singapore Cancer Society. The auction began at 1500hr local time today and will continue until the 19th of February. Those interested on bidding for the jerseys can SMS +6583147017 or send a tweet over to @SGSlingers.
Rashad Jones-Jennings topped the leaderboard in this game with an impressive double-double of 24 points and 23 rebounds. Wong Wei Long also put in a solid performance and ended with 20 points which included 5 three-pointers.Kyle Jeffers also recorded a double-double with 16 points and 17 rebounds.
Although the Heat’s Dior Lowhorn travelled to support his team at the Singapore Indoor Stadium, he has been sidelined from the game with a hamstring injury and was replaced by Ben Wisniewski who started off the bench. Wisniewski had a decent debut as he finished with 11 points.
Jai Reyes was solid again for the Heat as he finished with 22 points. David Palmer grabbed his own double-double with 20 points and 16 rebounds as Larry Tieu rounded up the Heat’s top three with 12 points.
A slow start to the game saw the Slingers take an early lead before Jai Reyes kick started the Heat’s efforts and scored their first 5 points to pull in just behind the hosts at 5 to 6. For the Slingers, Kyle Jeffers was perfect in the first quarter as he converted all of his attempts from both the field and the free throw line. The teams kept the game close and were deadlocked at 16 all going into the second quarter.
Wong had a good shooting game this afternoon and he gave his team a boost after sinking a three at the start of the second quarter. The Slingers continued to extend their lead after a Jeffers steal was converted by Desmond Oh to put them up 23 to 18. The Heat were cold in the first two minutes of this period as the Slingers went on a 15-5 run which gave them their first double digit lead at 31 to 21 at the mid-way point.
The Heat struggled under the rim in the first half as the Slingers outrebounded them 28 to 18. To make matters worse, Reyes left the court due to a dislocated finger. Fortunately, he was able to step back into the game after receiving treatment. At the end of the quarter, a solid performance from Wong who led all scoring in the first half with 13 points saw the Slingers head into the halftime break 44 to 32.
Wong continued his shooting into the second half as he opened up scoring yet again with another huge three before intercepting a pass by Palmer which was converted by Jones-Jennings. The Heat continued to struggle in this period and found themselves down 19 points at the mid-way point. Karl Dehesa then picked up fifth foul of the game late in the quarter and was sent to the bench. At the end of the third, the Slingers maintained their lead 64 to 49 as the teams go into the final ten minutes of the game.
The Slingers continued to drive a wedge between the teams and earned themselves a 68 to 51 lead within the first two minutes of play. Despite the deficit, the Heat continued to slowly chip into the Slingers lead and Larry Tieu managed to put in an important three pointer that brought the Slingers down to just 10 points with five minutes remaining in the game. Reyes then put in a three to put the Heat back to within 4 with two minutes on the clock.
The Slingers were determined not to let this one go however and put the game to bed at 80 to 69 to bring them back to .500 and up to third on the ABL standings with a record of 3 wins and 3 losses.
These two teams will play the reverse fixture of this game in just five days’ time when the JobStreet.com Singapore Slingers head over to Tan Binh Stadium on Friday the 22nd of February. This will also be the ABL Friday Basketball game for this week and will be live on Fox Sports Asia regionally. Please check your local listings for details.
The game will also be available via ABL Livestream, a direct link will appear onhttp://www.ASEANBasketballLeague.com/ shortly before tip-off time. Highlights and full game footage of both teams can be found on the ABL YouTube channel at http://YouTube.com/ABL.
JobStreet.com Singapore Slingers: Jones-Jennings – 24, Wong – 20, Jeffers – 16, Cabatu – 7, Oh – 5, Folkoff – 4, Dulay – 4,.
Saigon Heat: Reyes – 22, Palmer – 20, Tieu – 12, Wisnieski – 11, Morrison – 2, Dehesa – 2.