ASEAN Basketball League Finalists, the Singapore Slingers, will be back in action as the Merlion Cup tips off on September 20th at 6:30 PM against the Yulong Luxgen Dinos (Chinese-Taipei) at OCBC Arena.
The Merlion Cup is being held for a second consecutive year after being a huge success from last season which saw the Shanghai Sharks from China being crowned champions. This year’s tournament features seven teams which are defending champions Shanghai Sharks, tournament hosts Singapore Slingers, Adelaide 36ers (Australia), Yulon Luxgen Dinos (Chinese Taipei), Jeonju KCC Egis (Korea), Satria Muda Pertamina (Indonesia), and NLEX-SCTEX (Philippines).
The playing field this year is impressive and will be pitting top-level talent against each other for 5 days of action packed basketball from 20-24 September.
“We’ll see fantastic regional stars as well as former NBA (National Basketball Association) players and we are looking forward to taking on the best in the region,” Slingers Head Coach, Neo Beng Siang, told Straits Times. “International tournaments such as the Merlion Cup bring the best talents together and it’s our chance to show fans that we can compete at the highest level. The Merlion Cup is also valuable preparation for our 2017-18 ABL season.”
Here’s the roster for the Singapore Slingers in the Merlion Cup 2017:
Lim Jun Yuan
Wong Wei Long
Tay Ding Loon
Toh Qing Huang
The Slingers will be fielding 3 imports in this tournament: Xavier Alexander, Ryan Wright, and Mikee Reyes.
Alexander has been a mainstay import for the Slingers and have gone to two straight ABL Finals with the team in the past two seasons averaging 18.5 points, 10.1 rebounds, and 5.5 assists. He will be joined by Ryan Wright, a well-travelled 30-year-old veteran who most recently played in Hungary.
Wright will be filling up the role of the big man in the paint for the Slingers, a void left by Justin Howard when his contract with the Slingers recently expired.
“He’s quick and athletic, so hopefully this can help our team which plays the running game,” Coach Neo says of his new recruit, as told to Straits Times. “Our players will feel more confident to have a rim protector.”
The final import is Filipino Mikee Reyes. The guard was a standout at the University of Philippines in 2014 and has since appeared in several semi-professional leagues. He also signed on to a one-game contract with the Kaohsiung Truth in the ASEAN Basketball League last season, putting in 14 points, 2 rebounds, and 2 assists in his lone performance.
Slinger standouts Wong Wei Long, Delvin Goh, and Leon Kwek are all back on the team for this tournament among others. Russel Low is also back in the Slinger’s roster, following a superb campaign in SEA Games 2017. The only new local recruit on the team is point guard Lim Jun Yuan, who has been a part of the Singapore National Team in both the SEABA Championship and SEA Games this year.
The Singapore Slingers will be in Group B of the tournament along with the Yulon Luxgen Dinos and the Adelaide 36ers.
Catch the Singapore Slingers in the Merlion Cup at OCBC Arena on these dates and times:
20 September, 6:30 PM vs Yulon Luxgen Dinos (Chinese-Taipei)
22 September, 6:30 PM vs Adelaide 36ers (Australia)