Singapore Slingers downed by Alab Pilipinas
For once, those famed afterburners were not enough to carry the Singapore Slingers over the line for an Asean Basketball League victory.
Despite draining seven three-pointers from nine attempts in the final quarter, the Slingers could not muster another late fightback, as they lost 74-72 to Alab Pilipinas in another dramatic encounter at the Alonte Sports Arena in Laguna yesterday.
The Slingers paid the price for a sluggish first half in which they converted just 29 per cent of their field-goal attempts. The home bench also outscored their counterparts 25-6.
Big Slingers centre Justin Howard (13 points, 17 rebounds) missed all of his six shots in the first quarter as his team posted just 10 points to match their worst total in a quarter this season.
In the first two periods, Howard shot just two-for-11, while point guard Wong Wei Long (14 points) missed all his four efforts as the Slingers trailed 37-27 at half-time.
Then they awoke from their slumber and even took a 60-59 lead in the fourth quarter when they went on a 11-4 run.
Alab Pilipinas responded well with a 15-3 run of their own to move ahead 74-63 with 3:35 left.
However, the hosts failed to make a single basket after that and Wong, Mitchell Folkoff and Xavier Alexander (24 points, 10 rebounds) made their perimeter shots to cut the deficit to just two points.
Alab Pilipinas' point guard Bobby Ray Parks Jr handed the visitors a final lifeline with a five-second inbound violation with 16 seconds remaining. But Alexander could not put away his lay-up with five seconds left as the Slingers slipped to 7-2 after nine games.
Neo Beng Siang's team will need to regroup fast ahead of tomorrow's match against Hong Kong Eastern Long Lions at the OCBC Arena if they want to go into the Chinese New Year break top of the league.