The Singapore Slingers were put to the sword on Sunday (March 3) as the San Miguel Alab Pilipinas ended their four-game winning streak with a score of 80-70 at the OCBC Arena.
About 2,800 fans turned up to watch the high-anticipated sold-out match as the Slingers were up against the defending champion and current ASEAN Basketball League leaders.
The Singapore side saw a promising start with their sharp shooting and closed off the first quarter with a lead of 21-18. However, the Slingers failed to make headway in extending their point advantage, falling short to the strong Alabs' defense headed by 2.21m-tall PJ Ramos.
Neo's men struggled to maintain their narrow lead of 46-44 at the start of the third quarter, which turned out to be the last time they saw any chance of winning the game after losing the next five points to their opponents.
John Fields from the Singapore Slingers being surrounded during the game. Photo: Sport Singapore
Shortly after, the Slingers suffered further salt in wounds with the fouling out of point guard Jerran Young -- which head coach Neo Beng Siang admitted was key to the team's eventual downfall.
"We lost one import and he's our scoring guard so he's a big loss for us. We played pretty well in the first half, but we decided to switch to zonal defense because Young picked up his third foul in the first half," he said.
The coach also mentioned how playing in a full house arena was also what could have caused the Slingers to slip up, with nerves getting in the way of their game.
"Towards the end, our local players didn't really step up. It's the first time we sold out, so they're a bit nervous and gave themselves too much pressure.
"We need to be more confident in scoring because when we miss and when we're down, we pass rather than take the shot so we need to build our confidence level."
Slingers will go against the CLS Knights in the next home game on Sunday, March 10 at 4pm.
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