It was a game of highlight-worthy alley-oops and dunks, but unfortunately, it did not belong to the Singapore Slingers.
The visiting Saigon Heat stole the Singaporeans’ limelight and put on an offensive show, thanks to the plays of their imports, as the home side suffered a 73-75 defeat at the hands of the visitors.
Mitchell Folkoff of the Singapore Slingers surrounded by Saigon Heat players during the ASEAN Basketball League at the OCBC Arena. Photo: Sport Singapore
Forwards Lenny Daniel (22 points, 12 rebounds) and Anthon Henriquez-Roberts (14 points, 14 rebounds) tallied double-doubles while Morgan Moses and David Arnold finished with 16 and eight points respectively.
Besides their stellar offensive work, Daniel, Moses and Henriquez-Roberts were also effective on the defence, as they combined for nine swats against the home team.
“The three-pointers really killed us,” said Slingers head coach Neo Beng Siang. The Slingers were zero of 11 from the arc, while the Heat were four of nine.
Criticising his charges for a lack of spacing on offence, Neo added: “Too many passengers standing around waiting for teammates to do something, which is not good.”
Despite huge games from Xavier Alexander (31 points, 14 rebounds) and Justin Howard (22 points, 23 rebounds), the Slingers were not able to extend their lead to a comfortable one.
Xavier Alexander of the Singapore Slingers dunks the ball against Saigon Heat. Photo: Sport Singapore
“Individually, we can’t even contain what we want to, then it’s pretty hard for us to get ourselves to build on a team defence,” said Slingers head coach Neo Beng Siang after the loss.
Of late, the Slingers have struggled with their offensive game and found it difficult to close out games.
“That always happens, which is what we don’t want to see most of the time,” said Neo, pointing out that the Slingers have had slow starts.
“It’s not the end of the world and we need to get ourselves to bounce back. We got four games to go and hopefully we can secure all four.”
With the Hong Kong Eastern Lions leading the league standings, Neo emphasised the importance of securing the second seed.
“We’re now tied with Alab Pilipinas with six losses, so we need to maintain our focus on every game.”