Singapore Slingers' Xavier Alexander (R) in action during the match. Photo by Sport Singapore
The Singapore Slingers extended their winning streak to six games as they beat Mono Vampires 73-65 in a thrilling match at OCBC Arena on Sunday.
The home team were widely expected to win heading into the match, but with the additions of Michael Fey and Anthony McClain during the mid-season break, the Vampires put up a good fight and came close to upsetting the local favourites.
The Slingers established a comfortable lead in the first half, ending the second quarter with a score of 39-26 against the Vampires. The visitors, however, went on the offensive in the second half and closed the gap to a mere two points with less than three minutes to go.
While they eventually won the match, Slingers' coach Neo Beng Siang was disappointed that a concentration lapse had given the Vampires room to make a comeback.
“We were not doing our defense as a team, and communication broke down in that part. We gave them a lot of penetration and easy shots,” Neo said.
“And on offence, we were not disciplined enough to execute our offence.”
Singapore Slingers' Desmond Oh (L) in action during the match. Photo by Sport Singapore
It was at that crucial moment, however, when a time out was called. After which, Slingers captain Desmond Oh converted two consecutive three pointers within a minute and led his team to a hard fought victory.
Oh, who only managed a total of eight points in the match, credited his coach's encouragement for giving him the confidence to shoot even though his form had been poor of late.
“I would like to thank my coach who keeps encouraging me to shoot even though I haven't been shooting well,” said the 29-year-old.
“But he still keeps encouraging me, asking me to set up my feet well, keep shooting with confidence and I will make it”
“And today it came at the right time.”
While Oh's exploits had sealed their win, it was Xavier Alexander who was the star of the match as he turned in an impressive performance with 22 points, 11 rebounds and eight assists.
The Singapore Slingers will next face the VS Pilipinas MX3 Kings on Sunday 10 January at OCBC Arena.
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