After scoring a bounce-back victory at home against the Formosa Dreamers, the Taipei Fubon Braves now shift their attention to the Singapore Slingers. As always, for the ASEAN Basketball League’s newest member, the most important factor in playing back-to-back games is to exert the same amount of energy.
The win against the Dreamers was important but it will be negated if the Braves fall flat against the Slingers in the back end. It will be the first meeting ever between these two teams so it will be interesting to see how they’ll try to match up against each other.
The Braves used a big fourth-quarter performance to defeat the Dreamers in their last game as they outscored their visitors 24-14 in the final quarter. With another agile big man in Maxie Esho joining the team, they were dominant in the shaded area both in rebounding and scoring second-chance points, which certainly helped them pick up the victory.
OJ Mayo played one of his best games of the season so far as he was locked in from the start. He gave the Braves their first basket of the game and also powered their big run in the fourth quarter. Usually, he can take over a game because of his scoring but this time he also helped out defensively while doing a great job in creating for his teammates as well. Mayo had 26 points and nine rebounds while still maintaining his hot shooting from the three-point region as he made four of his eight attempts from deep.
Mayo was backed up by Charles Garcia who was a force to be reckoned with in the shaded area. In the first game of 2020, Garcia made sure it would be worth remembering as he finished with a whopping 22-point and 21-rebound performance.
The entry of Esho gives the Braves another relentless attacker and a presence inside because of his size. However, it was clear that he needs some more time to get to know his teammates. Esho is not in any rush as he knows this would only become better through time and repetition.
The only drawback int he game for Fubon was the performance of Joseph Lin who struggled with his new role as a starter now. He only scored two points after dropping 23 in their last meeting, which might cost him his starting role.
The Slingers are currently holding a 1-1 win-loss tally as they rebounded with their tight loss to San Miguel Alab Pilipinas with a win at home against the Macau Wolf Warriors. The three-time ABL finalist showed better cohesion in the game as they bullied the Wolf Warriors in the shaded area.
Xavier Alexander continues to be the leader for Singapore as he picked up a triple-double in their victory with 23 points, 14 rebounds, and 10 assists. It would b very interesting to see for the Braves will try to get the ball out of the hands of the talented Slinger import.
With the ball mostly falling to the waiting hands of Alexander on offense, Marcus Elliott is still currently trying to figure out what kind of player he needs to be to help Singapore. When he was still playing for Hong Kong Eastern, he was their primary ball-handler, which is no longer the case now. Expect the numbers to continue being up and down for Elliott until he finally figures out what his role is.
Singapore was able to secure a win against the Wolf Warriors because of their big advantage in points in the paint and many of these were delivered by their twin towers. Anthony McClain and Delvin Goh combined for 29 points and 24 rebounds but they will be challenged by the bigs for Fubon who have a bit more ceiling compared to the Wolf Warriors.