Exactly a week since their triumphant Straits Cup victory, the fiery season of the Kuala Lumpur Dragons keeps getting hotter and hotter.
Behind a total team effort, the Dragons won over the Singapore Slingers once again, 77-68 at the OCBC Arena, Singapore.
Four players scored in double-figures for the Dragons, and the team’s depth shined through in another low scoring affair versus their Causeway rivals. Amir Bell put together a stellar performance, leading the squad with 18 points, 5 rebounds, 5 assists, and 1 steal.
Each basket from Bell was sorely needed, as teammates Cade Davis and Will Artino struggled from the field all game long. Artino shot only 8-21 from the field, while Davis was 6-15 and a frigid 0-7 from the three-point area. But in the end, it didn’t matter because the Dragons’ defense was firm for the entire ballgame. The Slingers were held to only 37% from the field, and 3 of 8 from beyond the arc.
The Dragons held a slim three-point advantage heading into the fourth quarter before a triple from Leon Kwek immediately tied the game up. But the Dragons put together a game-breaking 15-2 run, highlighted by baskets from Artino, and a booming triple from Loh Shee Fai that took the wind out of the sales of the Slingers.
The Slingers were held scoreless for almost three minutes of action, before free throws from Alexander mercifully stopped the run, making the score 73-62. But the Dragons continued to be stingy with opponent’s scoring, as they only gave up six points for the remainder of the game to cruise to the big road victory.
Simeon Lepichev was also instrumental for the Dragons, tallying 16 points and 9 rebounds for the Dragons. The team also got valuable contributions from Shee Fai and Ting Chun Hong, each scoring 5 points for the Dragons and making a triple apiece.
Marcus Elliott led the Slingers in scoring with 21 points from the field, while Alexander had 20 points highlighted by 9-9 from the free-throw line. However, the struggles for the team’s star local players continued, as Delvin Goh and Leon Kwek had another tough game from the field once again. Goh was held to 6 points on 3-9 shooting, while Kwek was only able to muster 3 points, which came from his only triple in the fourth quarter.
The win is the Dragons’ second in a row, as they continue to climb the ABL standings with a 9-7 card, now in 4th place. The Slingers on the other hand drop to 7th place with a 7-9 record.