Game Preview: Singapore Slingers vs Saigon Heat

The Saigon Heat attempt to take down another giant in the ASEAN Basketball League (ABL) and also aim to formalize their entry into the playoffs as they take on the second-ranked Singapore Slingers, Sunday afternoon, 4 pm, at the OCBC Arena.

After getting back their old Heritage import in Moses Morgan, the Heat have played so much better.  The end of the elimination round posed a tough schedule for them as their final four games were against the two top teams in the league in the Long Lions and Slingers. However, they caught big break when Josh Boone was out with back spasms in their last game against Hong Kong Eastern but now they will have to deal with a Singapore squad that has two healthy imports.

Replacement World import Jordan Henriquez has provided Saigon with an undeniable presence inside and has formed a fearsome tandem with the energetic Lenny Daniel. In their last game, Henriquez led the Heat with 30 points and 17 rebounds, taking full advantage of the fact that the Long Lions had no one in their lineup who could defend him.

Daniel also added a double-double with 24 points and 13 rebounds while Morgan and David Arnold combined for 31 points, 7 rebounds, and 5 assists.

The last time these two teams met, Saigon stole one at the OCBC Arena as they scored a 75-73 victory. It was a painful loss for the Slingers at home and they’ll surely do everything they can to make sure it does not happen again.

After that loss, the Slingers have rebounded with a huge victory over the Kaohsiung Truth. In that game Xavier Alexander starred with a triple double with 12 points, 12 rebounds, and 12 assists. Justin Howard was also on point with 25 points and 15 rebounds.

The big difference for the Slingers is that they will have a brand new Heritage import this time around in PBA veteran Josh Urbiztondo.

The Westports Malaysia Dragons and Alab Pilipinas will pay a close attention to this game because a loss for Saigon will help them both. However, the Heat know that they still have a shot at stealing the third spot and will do everything they can do avoid the mighty Long Lions in the semifinals.