The Singapore Slingers took an important step up the rankings as they are now only half a game behind the second-ranked Formosa Dreamers, after their 87-76 win against the Westports Malaysia Dragons, Friday night. The Slingers will also bring a huge edge to as they travel back home to Singapore for the Straits Cup.
It was a much closer ball game than Singapore’s 101-47 victory in their first meeting as the Dragons showed more fight this time around.
Westports Malaysia was only down by four points, 70-66, early in the fourth quarter after a basket from Yek Liang Chuan. However, Singapore went on a 10-2 run capped by a basket from John Fields to give them a dozen point lead, 80-68, with less than three minutes remaining in the game.
Yek and Nnanna Egwu tried to mount a last-ditch rally for the home team as they connected with back-to-back triples but the Slingers always had answers, the last of which was a dunk from Fields to extend their lead back up to 11 points, 87-76, to seal the win.
The Slingers remain at the third spot from the time being with their 11-7 win-loss record behind Formosa’s 11-6. The Dragons, on the other end, are now flirting with disaster as they fall to 6-11, which is painfully close to Mono Vampire, the team chasing them for the eighth spot in the standings.
The locals took a back seat in the game as they only canceled each other out with 14 points apiece as their imports ran the show.
Singapore was led by 28 points each for Fields and Xavier Alexander who were also outstanding on the rebounding department with a combined 29. Jerran Young chipped in 17 points, five rebounds, and four steals.
Egwu led the Dragons with 26 points, playing all 40 minutes. He shot 10 of 15 from the field including an impressive 4 of 7 mark from beyond the arc but his focus on scoring left a hole in the middle of their defense.
Singapore won the rebounding department 43 to 32 and dominated inside scoring 60 to 36.
Winston Shepard added a double-double for the Dragons with 22 points and 11 rebounds while Chris Eversley chipped in 14 points but shot only 5 of 14 from the field.
Game 2 of the Straits Cup will be played at the OCBC Arena on Sunday.