After a grueling semifinals series, the BTN CLS Knights Indonesia, have one more hurdle before they can reach the summit of the ASEAN Basketball League.
The Knights will be tested by none other than the Singapore Slingers in the Finals as the series begins this Friday at the OCBC Arena in Singapore.
“They’re very smart. They play well together. They’re experienced,” Knights coach Brian Rowsom said about their opponent. “So we have to play smart also.”
The Knights will come in as newcomers in the Finals while the Slingers will have the upper hand in terms of experience. A number of Singapore players have been through the ABL’s biggest stage in two previous occasions. Guys like Delvin Goh, Desmond Oh, Ng Hanbin, and World Import Xavier Alexander are battle-tested underneath the bright lights. As for the Knights, only former Singapore star Wong Wei Long has played in the ABL Finals.
Though experience may be on the side of the Slingers, coach Rowsom is confident that his team can keep up.
“We match up well with them. We both won two games,” assessed the coach.
The two finalists met four times in the regular season with each team winning twice. Interestingly, each team has won on the other’s home court. Their first two meetings were blowouts while the last two came down the wire. If the regular season is any indication of how the Finals will turn out, then it seems it’ll be a very competitive five-game series.
For coach Rowsom, he believes that it’ll boil down to who can execute efficiently.
“I think the team that plays the smartest, doesn’t make turnovers and does the little things like [getting] loose balls, blocking out, things like that, is gonna win,” he said.
The Knights will try to become the second Indonesian team to hoist the ABL trophy since the Indonesia Warriors won in 2012.
“It’s gonna be a good series. I expect it to go four-five games,” Rowsom concluded.