The Chang Thailand Slammers and the Saigon Heat both lost their season openers last weekend. Both teams will now be looking for their first win in the 2013 ASEAN Basketball League, setting up an exciting battle on Wednesday night at Nimibutr Stadium, Thailand.
The Slammers will be coming in off a tough 50-56 loss on the road to the JobStreet.com Singapore Slingers. Justin Howard led the Slammers with 13 points and 14 rebounds in that game, followed by Michael Earl who contributed 10 points and 10 rebounds. Howard will have a tough assignment guarding Heat’s center David Palmer who loves to shoot from the three-point line.
Froilan Baguion had a tough shooting game on Sunday as he missed 10 of his 13 shots on top of turning the ball over 6 times. Slammers’ head coach Joe Bryant will look for Baguion to bounce back and lead the Slammers to a win on Wednesday night.
Despite the loss, there was a bright spot on the floor for the Slammers. Reuben Thomas, who could emerge as a star in the ABL, showed flashes of a player who could make an impact both offensively and defensively. Reuben finished his game on Sunday with 8 points and 4 rebounds. Reuben brings youth, athleticism and hunger for the Slammers.
The Heat fell short 70-80 to the Westports Malaysia Dragons at Tan Binh Stadium last weekend. Palmer will look to carry his hot shooting from last weekend into this game. The 6’9” center made an incredible 8 three-point shots on his way to a monster debut in the ABL with 34 points and 18 rebounds. Dior Lowhorn also logged in big numbers for the Heat with 23 points and 12 rebounds.
Heat’s head coach Jason Rabedeaux will be hoping for his team to shoot the ball much better in this game after only managing 28% from the field in their season opener. He will also expect to receive a boost from his backcourt tandem, Phillip Morrison and Jai Reyes. Morrison and Reyes were not able to find their shooting groove last weekend as they combined for only 7 points. Reyes, who was a fan favorite in Bangkok when he was playing for Bangkok Cobras last season, is definitely pumped up to play against a couple of his former teammates and head coach.
The Heat would love to win the game on Wednesday as they will try to build momentum before heading back home to host the defending champion Indonesia Warriors on Saturday night.