The Singapore Slingers helped World Import Marcus Elliott make a triumphant return to his old stomping grounds, rallying back to take down Hong Kong Eastern 73-67 in ABL Season 10 action.
Playing as a visitor in the Southorn Stadium for the first time in four years, Elliott powered his squad to a victory in a low scoring affair that saw both teams shoot below 40% from the field. However, the 2017 World MVP was still effective, as he notched a game-high 23 points on 8 of 18 shooting, and almost notched a triple-double with 11 rebounds and 8 assists.
However, the Slingers stumbled out of the gate, as Hong Kong Eastern dominated in the second quarter. It was a disastrous period for the Slingers, as they were outscored 24-10 to take an 8 point deficit, 40-32 into the halftime break.
Hong Kong turned up the pressure even more in the third period, uncorking a 10-0 run highlighted by back to back triples from Brandis Raley-Ross and Lee Ki. Hong Kong’s lead ballooned to 18 points with 7 minutes left in the period, 50-32.
The Slingers had their backs against the ball, but they refused to let go of the rope. A huge 19-5 to finish the period helped the Slingers roar back into the game, as the deficit was cut to 4 points, 55-51 at the end of the 3rd quarter.
Both teams were scoreless for the first two minutes of the final period before free throws from Elliott broke the silence. That proved to be the jolt that the Slingers needed, as they completed the comeback to take the lead via free throws from Xavier Alexander at the 6:08 mark of the period.
Elliott continued to wax hot, as the slingers were able to preserve their lead heading into the final two minutes of the period. A three-pointer and a layup from Elliott, together with clutch free throws kept the squad ahead. On the other end, Brandon Coster, and Brandis Raley-Ross missed shots down the stretch, allowing the Slingers to escape with the win.
Xavier Alexander and Anthony McClain provided tremendous support in the win. McClain had 18 points and 16 rebounds, while Alexander had another all-around performance of 17 points,6 rebounds and 4 assists to help Singapore snap up the win.
Costner scored 17 points on 4 of 13 from the field to pace Hong Kong Eastern. Bothered by the relentless defense of the Slingers all game long Raley-Ross was still able to score 16 points, along with 10 rebounds and 17 assists. Both teams struggled from the field, as Costner was 4 of 13 from the field, and Raley- Ross 7 of 17.
Back to back wins for the Slingers allowed them to even up their record at 5-5, good for fourth place in the ABL standings. The Slingers will now prepare to take on San Miguel Alab Pilipinas on February 2.
Hong Kong Eastern falls to 3-7, their third straight loss. The squad will have a week to recover, as they battle the Formosa Dreamers on February 8.