The Singapore Slingers escaped with a 106-99 overtime win over the Taipei Fubon Braves Sunday at the OCBC Arena in Singapore.
Leon Kwek played his best game in the ABL as he notched a career-high 26 points while also knocking down a personal-best seven triples. The Singapore gunslinger waxed hot from start to finish as he also had three rebounds and three assists.
The Slingers made all the right plays down the stretch while also enjoying a few breaks against the erstwhile second-ranked team in the league.
Kelvin Lim drilled a wide open jumper with 2:24 remaining in overtime to give Singapore a 100-98 lead. That proved to be a critical juncture as the Braves managed just a single point for the rest of the contest.
Former MVP’s Xavier Alexander and Marcus Elliott also had significant outings for Singapore. The X-Man notched another triple-double with 24 points, 12 rebounds, and 10 assists while Elliott fired 25 points, seven boards, and five dimes.
Kwek hit a booming trey with 25.5 seconds left in regulation to give Singapore a 93-90 advantage. But the Braves found their answer through Maxie Esho who played in his first game back at the OCBC Arena since winning the ABL title with the CLS Knights. Last year’s finals MVP countered with a triple of his own with 11.4 seconds to tie the game at 93. Kwek missed a potential game-winner on Singapore’s next possession and OJ Mayo’s desperation heave at the buzzer caught iron.
In overtime, the Slingers outscored the Braves, 13-6. Kwek scored five points in the extra session as Singapore held on.
Esho finished with 25 points, spiked by five triples, to go along with five assists, two steals, and two blocks. Chuck Garcia likewise had 25 points while pulling down 10 boards. Mayo chipped in with 20 points but was only 1-for-10 from beyond the arc.
The Slingers improve to 6-6 on the season while the Braves, who have lost back-to-back games, slide to 9-6. Singapore takes on the Kuala Lumpur Dragon for its next two games on February 14 and 16. The Braves, meanwhile, take on the Dragons on the 12th.