Singapore Slingers playing for pride and honour
Singapore side have secured play-off spot, but want to finish season on a high
The Singapore Slingers will not end the Asean Basketball League's regular season with their desired top-four finish, but coach Neo Beng Siang has urged his men to play for something more important - their pride.
The Slingers, who have already secured a place in the play-offs, were defeated 64-65 by CLS Knights Indonesia last Sunday. Neo, however, believes that the loss has also awoken the team from complacency, which had set in after three straight wins.
|FORMOSA DREAMERS||SINGAPORE SLINGERS|
He told The New Paper: "There were both good and bad drawn from the loss. We might not get to where we want to be, which is a top-four finish, but it's a wake-up call for us to get ourselves focused on the upcoming games. We need to get a better momentum moving forward into the play-offs."
Though nothing is at stake for the Slingers in their remaining two games, Neo hopes that his players will push themselves to end the regular season on a high.
As they prepare to face Taiwan's Formosa Dreamers at Changhua Stadium on Sunday, Neo said: "It's just a matter of whether we finish fifth or sixth before the play-offs, but I hope the players will go out to play for their pride and challenge themselves individually."
The Slingers will be missing forwards Leon Kwek and Delvin Goh, and guard Larry Liew, due to national service commitments.
Upon returning to training after Sunday's defeat, Neo has been impressed by the Slingers' work rate and focus.
"The players came back on Tuesday and were much more focused, so I hope it'll remain that way throughout. It's not just the next two games that we have to focus on," he said, "we have the play-offs and, hopefully, we can reach the Finals again." - SHARIFAH MUNIRAH