The Singapore Slingers escaped the pesky Zhuhai Wolf Wariors to win 107-103 in overtime in the Doumen Gymnasium, Zhuhai.
In one of the most thrilling games this season, the Slingers relied on a combination of skill, poise, determination, and a little luck to get the win against the hard-charging Wolf Warriors.
The Slingers were in control of the game for the first quarters, opening up a 10 point lead 79-69 at the end of the 3rd quarter behind free throws from Xavier Alexander. They sustained the lead for most of the fourth quarter, and a booming triple from World Import Jerran Young made it an 11 point advantage with 6:10 left in the game.
But instead of folding, the Wolf Warriors kept fighting. They uncorked a 14-2 run, highlighted by a triple from Mike Bell that brought the squad all the way back, and took the lead 89-88 at the 2:21 mark. A dunk from him pushed their lead even further, as they held a three point lead with 1:41 remaining.
The Slingers battled back, as a layup by John Fields and free throws from Alexander after a defensive stop restored the lead back to Singapore with 13 seconds left. But once again the Wolf Warriors responded with a quick shot inside by Eddy Curry, and a free throw given to Bell after a technical foul was called on the Slingers to lead 94-92 with 7 seconds remaining.
That set the stage for one of the most bizarre sequences this season. With the Slingers still behind half court and far from their basket, Young threw up a hail mary shot with still 5 seconds left in the game. Incredibly it landed in the hands of Alexander who flew to the basket for a rebound. He was fouled by Cris Shentu and then proceeded to the free throw line to tie the game and send it into overtime.
The Wolf Warriors still had their chances in the extra period, as a floater from Yan Xu made it a five point lead for the home team with 1:56 left in the game. But once again the Slingers had an answer, courtesy of a triple from Young and free throws from Fields to tie the game.
Fields would make the go ahead basket for the Slingers via a dunk at the 30 second mark. The Wolf Warriors’ Shentu was fouled on their next possession, but he missed two free throws that could have tied the game. Additional free throws by Alexander put the game out of reach, and allowed the Slingers to escape with the win.
Fields had the proverbial field day against the Wolf Warriors, as the big man top scored with 36 points to go with 11 rebounds and 4 steals. Young also came up big with a near triple-double of 15 points, 8 rebounds and 12 assists.
However the evening belonged to the Slingers’ Alexander, who came up clutch from the free throw line as he shot 11/16. He also made history as he passed Chris Charles to go to second all-time in the ABL scoring list, part of his 26 points to go along with 9 rebounds, 11 assists and 4 steals.
Taylor led the way for the Wolf Warriors with 32 points and 9 assists, followed by Bell’s 21 points and 15 rebounds.
The Slingers return to their winning ways with the victory, climbing to 7-4 in a three-way tie for third place. The Wolf Warriors remain at the bottom of the standings with a 1-10 card.