In the first meeting between rivals, the Singapore Slingers managed to get the 94-85 victory over the Westports Malaysia Dragons on Sunday at the MABA Stadium, in Malaysia.
Xavier Alexander spearheaded the Slingersâ€™ attack with 33 points to go along with 5 assists and 2 steals. Helping Alexander with the offensive load was Chris Charles who had a double-double performance of 25 points and 13 rebounds.
Though they were down by 8 points at halftime, the Slingers picked it up in the second half.
â€śTowards the end we bounced back as a team and we stuck together as a team,â€ť Coach Neo Beng Siang said about his teamâ€™s gutsy win.
â€śIn the second half, we stuck as a team. Defensively, rebounding was a key,â€ť he added, also noting that their defense beyond the arc was a significant factor in their success.
The Slingers eventually took the lead by the end of the third and continued to hamper down on Malaysia in the final period.
A three-pointer by Patrick Cabahug made it into a three-point game withÂ 1:37Â remaining. But bad decisions and bad defense by the home team led to their downfall. Charles squashed all hopes of a Dragonsâ€™ comeback with a strong move inside the paint to make it 89-82 with 36 seconds left on the clock, sealing the win for the Slingers.
â€śWe stuck together on defense. We followed our coaches,â€ť Delvin Goh mentioned as he helped the Slingers with 16 points and 7 rebounds. â€śI think we have to beat everyone thatâ€™s coming our way.â€ť
For the Dragons, Marcus Marshall poured in 22 points and 6 rebounds while Joshua Munzon fired away 15 points but was only 5-for-18 from the field.
The Dragons have dropped to 3-5 in the standings while the Slingers got their sixth win of the season.
This win also gets the Slingers their 5th straight win of the ongoing rivalry between the two teams, extending their lead to 17-14 in the All-Time series.
â€śBasically weâ€™re hungry for a win. Iâ€™m happy with that,â€ť Neo said.
The Slingers and Dragons got at it once again on the second edition of the Causeway Rivalry onÂ January 28Â at the OCBC Arena, in Singapore.