Slingers head coach Neo Beng Siang (left) and player Delvin Goh. Photo: Raj Kumar/ SportSG
The 2019-20 ASEAN Basketball League (ABL) season will get underway in December. That includes the Singapore Slingers, who will once again, be attempting to win their maiden ABL championship. Having finished runner-up in three of the last four ABL finals, the Singapore franchise is even more determined to clinch the title in their 10th season. And to aid them in their quest, the Slingers are turning to the Adelaide 36ers.
The Adelaide franchise are four-time champions of Australia’s National Basketball League (NBL), which is regarded as one of the top five professional basketball leagues in the world. Back in 2017, Slingers head coach Neo Beng Siang and local forward Leon Kwek spent a week training with the 36ers. And Coach Neo is excited at the prospect of heading back to Down Under for a second stint.
“Two years ago, I learnt several different set plays and training drills. I was very impressed with their overall team strategies and winning mindset. Even when they were losing, the players rallied together and played harder,” explained the 52-year-old.
Joining the Slingers coach on this trip is the club’s top local-born forward, Delvin Goh. “Being able to train with the Adelaide 36ers is certainly one that I’m greatly looking forward to. I hope to learn as much as I can from this training stint and then bring that experience home to Singapore and share it with my club-mates,” said the 24-year-old, prior to his departure to Adelaide yesterday.
In addition to picking up valuable pointers of the game, Delvin is also hoping to learn about the team’s culture. He said: “I’m curious to know how the professional players handle their dietary and nutritional concerns. How does Sports Science help in their overall development and what do the pros do on a day-to-day basis.”
Coach Neo added: “As for Delvin, who is 1.94 meters tall, I’m truly hoping for him to be able to join and play together with the 36ers in the pre-season games, as that will truly improve his game play.
General Manager of the Slingers Michael Johnson is elated over the collaboration with one of the NBL’s most decorated club. “We are grateful to the Adelaide 36ers for the opportunity to send our coach and Delvin to work with one of the elite programmes in the Australian NBL. Delvin should really benefit from this opportunity. I hope he gets a chance to play in one of their pre-season games.”
Joey Wright, Head Coach of the 36ers, added: "We have a few guys coming in from Singapore. The head coach, Neo, visited us in 2017 and he spent some time with us in Adelaide. A few months later, we went over to Singapore and spent some time with him as well. We’re trying to learn from one another, so it’s a great opportunity for us to learn from Neo and also for him to learn from us. Over the two collaborations, he's brought a few players along to the Sixers, so it’s a great opportunity for us to look at them also."