The Singapore Slingers sent the BTN CLS Knights Indonesia crashing back down to earth.
Displaying airtight defense and precise shooting, the Slingers ended the Knights’ seven-game winning streak in emphatic fashion with a 95-76 victory Sunday at the OCBC Arena in Singapore.
Jerran Young did a little bit of everything for Singapore, collecting a career-high 36 points, including five 3-pointers, 14 rebounds, seven rebounds, and four steals. Aside from Young, the Slingers’ other two World Imports also shared the spotlight. John Fields muscled his way to 24 points, 13 rebounds, four steals, and was an absolute beast defending the paint with seven blocks. Xavier Alexander was equally superb with 21 points and 12 assists.
The Slingers opened the second quarter on a 10-0 run to turn a mere two-point game into a 32-20 advantage. Led by the tenacious Young, Singapore kept attacking the basket while putting its foot down on the defensive end. The Knights had to bleed for points, making only four field goals in that game-changing quarter. Singapore was able to balloon the lead to 20 points, punctuated by a layup from Alexander to close out the first half. The Slingers scored a total of 30 points in the second period while limiting the Knights to just 12.
Singapore was never threatened in the remaining quarters and led by 27 points. Defense was the name of the game for the Slingers. The red hot Knights came into the contest blowing out opponents left and right, winning by double-digits in six of their seven victories. The Slingers clamped down and put on a defensive clinic, holding their opponent to just 40 percent shooting from the field. As for the 3-pointer, the difference maker of the Knights during their winning streak, the Slingers also made sure to cover that area, allowing only four triples in 18 attempts.
Maxie Esho ended up with 20 points and 13 rebounds for Indonesia. Douglas Herring added an all-around performance of 19 points, five rebounds, and six assists. Unfortunately, Esho and Herring combined for 10 of the team’s 18 turnovers. Darryl Watkins also contributed 18 points, but the local support was not found for the Knights. Brandon Jawato shot 4-for-14 from the field to come up with just 11 points. And it was a rude homecoming for former Slingers Wong Wei Long as he only had four points while failing to make a single field goal in five attempts.
Singapore has now won back-to-back games and improves to 9-6, moving up to third place. The Knights meanwhile stay right in the middle of the standings with a 9-8 card after tasting defeat for the first time in eight games.