Despite the best efforts of the Formosa Dreamers to snap their losing skid and end their season with a win in front of their loyal home crowd, the Playoffs-bound Singapore Slingers refused to cooperate.
The Dreamers suffered their 15th straight loss of the season, bowing to the Slingers 87-69 in their ABL regular season home finale inside the Changhua Stadium.
With loyal fans packing the gym and bringing posters and signs for support, optimism was high that Formosa would be able to pick up a win for the first time at home. But the Slingers had business of their own to take care of, as they looked to come closer to wrapping up the fifth seed in the Playoffs. As a result, last year’s ABL Finals runner-up looked extra sharp, especially after the shocking loss to the CLS Knights last week.
Heritage Import AJ Mandani was stellar against the Dreamers, as he scored a season best 30 points on a scorching 14/19 from the field. Mandani also created chaos on the other end, as he registered 7 steals in the contest. The Dreamers wound up with 21 turnovers in the game, as the Slingers’ individual defense forced the home team into several mistakes.
World Import Cameron Forte finished his ABL debut season with 20 points, 12 rebounds and 2 steals to lead Formosa. Teammate Ronnie Aguilar chipped in with 19 points, 7 rebounds and 3 blocks.
A dunk by Slingers Center Chris Charles with 3:40 remaining in the 3rd quarter gave Singapore it’s biggest lead of the game at 22 points. However the Dreamers would get to within 12 points via a Wu Sung Wei triple with 7:13 remaining in the final period. A monster slam from Aguilar and free throws from Forte at the 4:41 got the Dreamers to within 10, as they attempted their last run to salvage a win.
However it was not meant to be, as Mandani, Charles and Russell Low each scored baskets to bump the Slingers’ lead back to 17 points. They would eventually cruise to the victory, as Low scored back to back baskets to gain seperation and eventually the 18 point win.
Playing without Delvin Goh and Leon Kwek, the Slingers got big contributions from Low, who scored a career high 17 points on 7/9 shooting. Charles also had a monster double-double of 18 points, 17 rebounds and 5 blocks.
Wu wrapped up the game with 16 points on 4/7 from the perimeter for the Dreamers.
The Slingers climb to 11-8 in the standings, two games ahead of the Saigon Heat, scheduled to play later on in the day against the Westports Malaysia Dragons. A loss by the Heat or a win by the Slingers in their final match of the regular season versus Saigon would ensure they hold on to the fifth seed.
Formosa will wind up without a win in the Changhua Stadium in their first season in the ABL, as they fall to 1-18, their 16th straight loss of the season. They have one more chance to end their season with a win, as they take on Hong Kong Eastern on March 22 at the Southorn Stadium.