The Singapore Slingers have clinched a playoff spot in the ABL standings, but they are far from being satisfied. They’ll now look to pick up another big win, this time against San Miguel Alab Pilipinas, a team that’s reeling from a disappointing performance in a loss to the Macau Black Bears.
The Slingers (13-7) were able to pick up a thriller of a victory against the BTN CLS Knights, as they relied on Xavier Alexander down the stretch to finish off their opponents in the clutch. Now tied with the Formosa Dreamers for the longest current winning streak in the ABL, they now have their sights set on the defending champs.
The Slingers won a slugfest against the Knights, with a 71-68 victory that saw both teams bleeding for every point. The Slingers were able to dominate the glass, out-rebounding the Knights 45-34 that led to more second chance points, 21-7. Thus the Slingers led by Alexander were able to take care of business and come away with the victory.
For the past four years, Alexander has done whatever his team needed to do, and he showed that it includes hitting big time shots in the clutch as well. The X-Man fired up nine of the last 11 points of the Slingers to prevent the Knights from mounting a last ditch comeback attempt, racking up 23 points, 6 rebounds and 8 assists in the process.
San Miguel Alab Pilipinas (16-4) on the other hand looked uncharacteristically sluggish, as they got blown out early by the Black Bears and were unable to recover. Though they tried t mount a fourth quarter comeback, all of the momentum was on the side of their opponents. Will they be able to right the ship?
The defending champions entered their match against the Black Bears confident about their chances, but it soon turned out to be a trap. The Black Bears unleashed a monster first quarter that saw them go up by 27 points at the end of the quarter, and they eventually cruised to a 116-103 victory. The three point shooting of Macau absolutely overwhelemed Alab, as they knocked down a whopping 18 triples compared to only 5 for Alab Pilipinas.
One of the few bright spots of the game for San Miguel Alab Pilipinas was Renaldo Balkman, who finished with a double-double performance of 33 points, 11 rebounds and 5 assists. Balkman simply didn’t have enough help, and that led to a major loss for the defending champions.
The prideful defending champions are determined to get back on track, while the Slingers looking to rise even higher in the Playoffs. With both teams aiming for lofty heights, which squad can grab the the victory?