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Slingers miss out narrowly on win in first home game of new ABL season

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Xavier Alexander (#15) fights for the rebound against the Formosa Dreamers. Photo: Sport SingaporeXavier Alexander (#15) fighting for the rebound against the Formosa Dreamers. Photo: Sport Singapore

Singapore Slingers went down 73-77 to the Formosa Dreamers in their opening match of the ASEAN Basketball League at the OCBC Arena on Sunday (18 Nov).

Returning world import Xavier Alexander and new face Jerron Young contributed 24 and 20 points respectively. Alexander also tallied 11 boards to go with his scoring.

Tevin Glass and William Artino led the visitors with double-doubles each. Glass had 24 points and 10 rebounds, while Artino added 16 points and a game-high 13 rebounds.

The Slingers did well on defense with a total of 15 steals, compared to the Dreamers’ five, but unfortunately, failed to capitalise on the offensive end.

A series of missed layups saw the Slingers trailing the Dreamers by nine points in the third quarter.

The Slingers managed to take the lead in the fourth quarter with Delvin Goh tipping the ball into the basket, putting them ahead by a point (69-68) with two minutes left on the clock.

Larry Liew (#11) and Delvin Goh (#32) of the Singapore Slingers defends against Lee Hsueh Lin (#6) of the Formosa Dreamers. Photo: Sport SingaporeLarry Liew (#11) and Delvin Goh (#32) of the Singapore Slingers defending against Lee Hsueh Lin (#6) of the Formosa Dreamers. Photo: Sport Singapore

However, mistakes were their bane and the Dreamers proved superior in closing, denying the Slingers their home win.

Slingers’ coach Neo Beng Siang suggested that the players may be nervous for their first game of the season.

“I think they are giving themselves too much pressure. Couple of them were nervous and we didn't really perform to our expectations,” he said.

Slingers’ captain Ng Han Bin added: “It's a pity we couldn't get a good start in the year but it's still early in the season and anything can happen.”

The Slingers will face the Mono Vampires on Wednesday (21 Nov) in Thailand next.

The next home game will be against Westport Malaysia Dragons on Friday (23 Nov), 8pm at the OCBC Arena. Click here to purchase tickets and catch the Singapore Slingers live in action.


Editor's thoughts: Personally, I thought this was a game that the Slingers had to win. I mean, it was home advantage and no offense to the Dreamers but this was as easy a start as it could get. A win would have set the tone for the new season and helped to build some confidence before the away games. Therefore, I feel that Coach Neo will be just a tiny bit concerned with the way the game went in the end. This is by no means all doom and gloom though as the season has just started and there's lots of time to turn this around and you never know how things will go over the course of the entire ABL season. 
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