Desmond Oh of the Singapore Slingers drives against Saigon Heat. (Photo by Sport Singapore)
Despite big games from David Arnold and Paul Williams, the visiting Saigon Heat stood no chance against the determined Singapore Slingers.
The home team romped to a 100-73 victory in their final game of the ASEAN Basketball League regular season, sweeping the series and finishing with a 16-4 win-loss record.
Singapore delivered a balanced effort with 10 players putting their name up on the scoreboard. Arnold scored 26 points for Saigon, while Williams put up a double-double of 20 points and 13 boards.
Off the hard wood, some lucky youth beneficiaries of the SportCares Foundation also had an evening to remember.
The Singapore Slingers with youth beneficiaries of the SportCares (Photo by Sport Singapore)
In partnership with the foundation, which is the charity arm of Sport Singapore, the Slingers donned customized alternate uniforms that will be auctioned off after the game.
All proceeds from the auction will help fund programmes for these youths, marking the fourth straight season that the Slingers have partnered with local charities.
After relinquishing the top spot to Westports Malaysia Dragons, the Slingers now have an arduous task ahead as they face defending champions and third-seeded Hi-Tech Bangkok City in the semi-finals.
“It is what it is. It was all in our hands and we threw it away,” said head coach Neo Beng Siang.
While their Thai counterparts have been plagued with injuries, Neo emphasized that the team had defensive issues to resolve and that they should not lower their guard.
“When we get loose balls, we don’t really dive for them and we want to see some hustle from our boys, especially from our locals.”
“But moving forward, we believe that we can make it into the finals,” added Neo.
“We’re pretty confident with our matchup against Hi-Tech because we have home court advantage and we want the fans to be here to support us.”
Xavier Alexander in action against Saigon Heat (Photo by Sport Singapore)
While the schedule for the upcoming semi-finals has yet to be confirmed, Xavier Alexander was positive that the team would show up against the Thais.
“We’re just going to go out and play hard and make it a good series,” said Alexander.
“Hi-Tech’s a good team, but they’ve beat us twice and we’ve also beat them twice. We’ll just continue to play hard and let the rest take care of itself.”