The ABL Semifinals are underway. The first series pits two familiar foes against each other, in Hong Kong Eastern versus the Singapore Slingers.
In the regular season, Hong Kong and Singapore went head to head twice, with Eastern winning both match-ups.
Hong Kong won their Quarterfinals match shocking fashion, disposing of the defending champions San Miguel Alab Pilipinas. They did so in all manners of ways- Game 1 was a tight contest, while Game 2 was arguably Eastern’s best game of the season. They blew out Alab at home to the delight of their crowd, ensuring a new champion would be crowned this season. Relying on a never say die spirit in Game 1, and a dominant game in front of a home crowd in Game 2, Eastern has returned to the Final 4.
Ever steady is Marcus Elliott in his third year with Hong Kong Eastern. He’s been flirting with triple doubles left and right, with averages of 24.2 points, 6.6 rebounds and 6.5 assists per contest. Elliott has found all sorts of ways to help his team’s cause this season. One of the best all-around World Imports in the ABL is only getting better and better.
Last season, the Slingers were not a part of the final four. However a bumper crop of World Imports and development from key local players were the right combination to return to the Semifinals. After facing uncertainty in the Quarterfinals in a tight battle against the Macau Black Bears, the Slingers were able to emerge victorious despite Xavier Alexander fouling out in the end game.
Through thick and thin, Xavier Alexander has been there for the Singapore Slingers. He’s been consistent in every season for the Lion City, and has only gotten better with each passing year. This season, Alexander has stellar averages of 21.9 points, 8.6 rebounds and 7.7 assists per contest. With another chance to make a Finals appearance, how high can the X-Man take his squad?
The Singapore Slingers on the other hand had a much tougher route, having to outlast the Macau Black Bears in a thrilling Game 3 without Xavier Alexander down the stretch. Now they have home court advantage against their Finals tormentors from two years ago. Can they get their revenge and take Game 1