The Singapore Slingers picked up a big win, to wrap up home court advantage in the ABL Playoffs, as they dealt the Macau Black Bears a 89-70 beatdown at the Foshan International Sports and Cultural Center.
The victory over the Black Bears has now locked in the Slingers in the third seed, by virtue of a superior point differential head to head over the trailing BTN CLS Knights. They will have home court advantage in the Playoffs, regardless of the outcome of their final match against Mono Vampire Basketball Club.
Despite the return of World Import Mikh McKinney to the lineup, the Black Bears struggled to break free of the Slingers’ defense, as they shot 35% from the field. Their usually prolific three point shooting was also limited to 30% from beyond the arc on 11/36 shooting.
The breakthrough for the Slingers came in the third quarter, as the Black Bears held a 36-31 halftime lead. With their defense clicking, they held Macau to only 15 points in the period. An 18-2 run in the middle of the quarter turned the game around drastically, concluding with a triple from Jerran Young at the 1:35 mark that made it a 10 point lead for the Slingers. The period ended with Singapore taking a 58-51 lead into the final frame.
The Slingers were relentless in the final period, as they found their offensive groove behind solid contributions from Ng Han Bin and Delvin Goh to start the quarter. Xavier Alexander and John Fields took care of business down the stretch, putting the game out of hand as both World Imports soared for impressive slam dunks that deflated the home team, helping the Slingers cruise to the victory.
Leading the way for the Lion City was Jerran Young, who bounced back from a subpar performance against the Saigon Heat with 35 points, to go along with 6 rebounds, 3 assists and a whopping 5 steals. Young was all over the court particularly in the second half, and was instrumental in the Slingers stamping their will on the Black Bears.
Xavier Alexander registered another triple double for the Slingers, with 13 points, 10 rebounds and 13 assists. Key for the Slingers was their local contributions. Veteran Ng Han Bin found the range with 9 points, Delvin Goh chipped in 4 points, 6 rebounds and 3 assists, while Desmond Oh also had 8 points to help push Singapore to the win.
The Black Bears were led by Ryan Watkins’ 23 points, 14 rebounds, 3 steals and 2 blocks. Dewarick Spencer cooled off after a hot start to his ABL campaigh, as he notched 11 points on 3/12 shooting. McKinney also struggled from the field, only able to generate 12 points on 5/18 shooting.
The Black Bears end their campaign with a 14-12 card. They will have to wait for the result of the rest of the league’s final games to determine their final standing, and which squad they will be facing in the Playoffs.