Singapore Slingers' Wong Wei Long in action. (Photo by Sport Singapore)
The Singapore Slingers’ 10-game winning streak has come to an abrupt end as they lost 75-83 to ASEAN Basketball League (ABL) defending champions Hi-Tech Bangkok City at the OCBC Arena on Friday night.
The loss comes right before the Chinese New Year holidays, but despite the lunar festivities, Singapore’s only professional basketball team will not have much time to celebrate this year as they are coming to a crucial period in the ABL season.
“We are not going to celebrate our Chinese New Year. First day of Chinese New Year, we are going to come back here to train at 7 pm,” said Wong Wei Long, who also admitted it would be difficult to stay away from his guilty pleasure of pineapple tarts.
“We will be flying to Bangkok on the second day of Chinese New Year and on the third day, we will be playing against Mono Vampires.”
This year’s Chinese New Year holds special significance for Slingers’ captain Desmond Oh, as it marks the start of a new stage in life with the birth of his newborn son three months ago.
Singapore Slingers' Kris Rosales in action. (Photo by Sport Singapore)
“This year I have to “bao ang pao” for people. And that also means I am not going to collect anymore because I have already stepped into the next stage of my life,” the 29-year-old said. “It will be different.”
Juggling the demands of being a full-time professional athlete and a newly minted father is a challenge, but Oh manages it due to the understanding and support of his wife.
“Lucky I have an understanding wife. She knows my job and she has always been there to support me,” he said.
While there are three foreigners in the Slingers, they will surely not be left out of any celebrations as the tight knit team ensures that their foreign teammates are well taken care of during festivities.
Slingers’ center Justin Howard said, “The team, they look out for us, so I am sure we will get together, have a dinner and do something like that.”