Xavier Alexander was at the forefront of an impressive Game 2 win by the Singapore Slingers last Sunday.
The X-Man made his presence felt across the board with 16 points, seven rebounds, nine assists, and more significantly on the defensive end with five blocks and an ABL Finals record seven steals. Alexander helped the Slingers tie the series after beating the BTN CLS Knights Indonesia, 77-57.
Moments before Game 2, Alexander stood front and center in the middle of the court as he was awarded the season’s Most Valuable Player in the World Import Category. The ever-versatile forward out of Oklahoma churned out averages of 21.5 points, 8.6 rebounds, and a career-high 7.7 assists in the regular season, leading the Slingers to the playoffs.
Alexander has been the team’s go-to-guy since coming into the league four years ago. But more individual achievement, he hungers for the biggest prize that has escaped his grasp numerous times.
“It feels great, man,” Alexander said about winning the MVP, before quickly adding, “You know, It’s one of those awards that if you don’t get the chip, it kinda doesn’t matter, you know what I mean? So the chip is what I’ve been chasing since I got here.”
Alexander and the Slingers have been to the ABL’s grandest stage three of the last four seasons. Despite their best efforts, they have yet to win a title. They are hoping that this will be the season that they can finally bring a championship to Singapore.
“I’m very thankful for these fans, very thankful for my teammates and the organization for giving me the award, but I want the championship and that’s what I’m going for,” he went on.
For Alexander’s teammates, the MVP was a longtime coming.
“It’s well deserved. He’s been here four years,” fellow World Import Jerran Young said. “With his stat line, leading in triple-doubles in the league. All-time [scoring] leader. He’s putting in hard work and it just shows.”
“He’s a leader. He leads us not just on offense but on the defense as well. He trusts and I think that’s just something that’s really, really important,” added Ng Han Bin, who has been a teammate of Alexander for the past four years.
Alexander and the Slingers will undoubtedly be tested in the coming days as the series shifts to Surabaya for the next two games.
“I felt like we were asleep Game 1. Like I just told the boys, we were asleep at first but we’re up now. We’re woke,” Alexander said. “We’re looking forward to going to Surabaya and playing that same type of defense, same type of energy, and looking to get a win.”
Four years into the league, Xavier Alexander is now an MVP. However, his mission to become a champion remains.