The Singapore Slingers swept their season series against the Saigon Heat and locked up the fifth spot in the elimination round with a 97-77 victory on the road.
It was almost the exact copy of the last game between Singapore and Saigon as their first meeting ended with the Slingers getting a 94-76 victory. With their second win against the Heat, Singapore finished the elimination round with a 12-8 record while Saigon dropped to 10-10.
Both teams will now await the result of the final three games of the regular season before their find out who they will be facing in the playoffs.
With Chris Charles being in foul trouble for much of the game, it was Xavier Alexander who led Singapore in the contest with 38 points, one shy of his career high. The talented wingman also added 14 rebounds and seven assists to his tally.
After being down by three points at the end of the first quarter, 28-25, Alexander led a Singaporean uprising as he scored 12 markers in the second period to grab a 52-45 advantage at the half. The Slingers stretched their lead to double-digits early in the third quarter and led by as much as 23 points in the game.
Aside from getting another win under their belts, what’s import for the Slingers is the confidence they would be bringing into the playoffs. Their opponents would have homecourt advantage but Singapore has proven time and again that they can win on the road at they are 7-3 as the away team this season.
Even if Charles only played 25 minutes in the game, he was still able to pick up another monster double-double with 24 points and 19 rebounds. AJ Mandani and Ng Hanbin also scored in double digits for the Slingers as they combined for 21 points.
Like their first meeting, Singapore lorded it over the Heat inside the shaded area with a 47-25 edge in rebounding and a 52-36 lead in points in the paint.
Akeem Scott led Saigon with 23 points and the talented scorer didn’t appear to be bothered much by the loss.
“We had a good regular season. This game does not sum up what we can do in the playoffs. I’m not really worried about it. I’m not going to stress it out. We just have to clean up our mistakes and we’ll be ready,” Scott said after the game. “We’re the last seed and nobody expects us to win so we’re the underdogs but I think we can beat somebody in the playoffs because we believe in ourselves.”