Wong Wei Long (#5) of the Singapore Slingers drives against Reginald Johnson (#42) of Westports Malaysia Dragons (Photo by Sport Singapore)
After recovering from a tough home loss against Hi-Tech Bangkok City, the Singapore Slingers returned home to face Westports Malaysia Dragons and defend their pole position.
Unfortunately, turnovers and a scoring drought in the second quarter damned the home team to their second home loss of the season.
Fresh off a 19-point victory against Bangkok City, the Dragons rode their momentum to an 89-80 victory and are now tied with the Slingers at the top of the table.
Slingers head coach Neo Beng Siang was quick to express his displeasure, highlighting the defensive issues with his charges.
“We were not playing as a team and at one stage, we were down by 20. We did pick it up but it’s tough when you are down by 20.”
Neo added that the team had much to work on especially during one-on-one contests.
“We did a bad job on that and we let Brickman do whatever he wanted during the fourth quarter and there was no help on defence as well.”
“It was all in our hands and basically we threw the game away.”
Both teams had double-digit contributions from their imports, but it was Reginald Johnson of the Dragons who stood out from the pack. Johnson caused chaos for the Slingers in the paint and dominated with a double-double of 33 points and 17 boards.
Kris Rosales (#11) of the Singapore Slingers shoots the ball against Westports Malaysia Dragon (Photo by Sport Singapore)
The Slingers only managed to take the lead in the opening quarter with the help of Kris Rosales, who had 10 of his 14 total points in the frame.
From the second quarter on, Matthew Wright and Johnson helped the Dragons assume control.
The visitors showed no signs of slowing down as they overcame a late surge by the Slingers through Jason Brickman, who had 10 points in the quarter.
“Throughout the whole game, there was a bunch of errors that we had, like our defence wasn’t on par with what it’s usually at,” said Rosales.
“I think we didn’t get a lot of loose balls and some rebounds that we needed to and that kind of cost us the game, so we just got to go back to practice and work on our game and our transition defence.”
The Slingers, who are now 7-2 at home, have two games remaining in the regular season. They will play Mono Vampire Basketball Club on the road on February 19, and eventually return home to face Saigon Heat two days later.