Singapore Slingers' Kris Rosales in action. (Photo by Sport Singapore)
OCBC Arena to set a new club record of winning eight straight games.
This win moved the Slingers clear at the top of the ASEAN Basketball League (ABL) ladder, becoming the sole leader of the league after having shared the top spot with Hi-Tech prior to Sunday's match.
Slingers' coach Neo Beng Siang was delighted to have won against their regional rivals but bemoaned their poor performance in the first half.
“I'm happy with the win, but we came out in the first two quarters a bit sloppy and not working as a team in both ends – defensively and offensively,” he said.
“But we picked it up, and in the last quarter, we got our running game going and that's basically our strong part and I'm pretty happy with the last quarter's performance.”
In a tight match that could have gone either way, the Slingers finished the first half behind by two points. By the third quarter, however, they caught up and ended the quarter drawn at 55-55.
The Slingers were given a boost when Hi-Tech's 2.16m center Christien Charles, who had given them endless trouble under the net with 16 rebounds, was fouled out in the last quarter.
Singapore Slingers' Wu Qingde in action. (Photo by Sport Singapore)
The fact that the Slingers had the upper hand in terms of rebounds without the threat of Charles was not lost on Wu Qingde, who took advantage of it and fired off consecutive three-pointers to put the hosts ahead.
Wu ended the game as the Slingers' top scorer with 19 points, 15 of which came from beyond the three-point line.
Despite the hugely significant win and setting the club's longest winning streak, Wu and his team are not letting it get to their head and will continue to work hard for their seven remaining matches.
“We are definitely happy about it, but we cannot be contented so we have to continue to work hard,” the 23-year-old national player said.
“During the breaks, we have to work even harder to take our consistency to another level.”
The Slingers will face Pilipinas MX3 Kings again at the OCBC Arena on Sunday 24 Jan.