Slingers avenge loss to Alab
Singapore side start slow again, but finish strongly to secure first win of 2018
For the Singapore Slingers, revenge is a dish best served fast.
Last night, they defeated the Alab Pilipinas 90-80 at the Filoil Flying V Arena in Manila, the Philippines, just three days after an 80-89 overtime loss at the OCBC Arena in Singapore.
Just as they did in their loss on Sunday, the Slingers got off to another slow start.
They trailed 2-10 after just five minutes into the game. An eight-point streak saw them tie 10-10, but the Philippine side then pulled away to end the opening stanza with a 19-12 lead.
|ALAB PILIPINAS||SINGAPORE SLINGERS|
The Slingers rallied in the second quarter with the foreign roster - Christien Charles (29 points, 15 rebounds and two assists), A.J. Mandani (23-3-2) and Xavier Alexander (20-9-9) - putting in shifts for a 42-38 half-time lead.
However, Alab made the Slingers work by levelling the score to 64-64 at the end of the third quarter.
This time though, Neo Beng Siang's men dominated the final quarter and kept Alab at bay to eventually win by 10 points.
This is the Slingers' first win of the year and third away victory in this season's Asean Basketball League, improving their win-loss record to 4-5.
Despite the win, Slingers coach Neo felt that his players still lack the ability to start the game on a strong note.
Said the 56-year-old: "We start slow because when one person falls back, we can't get ourselves together as a team to run the floor, both in offence and defence.
"It might be an issue of soreness from the last game and not being able to shake it off fast enough, or maybe their warm-ups, so that's something we have to look into."
LOCAL ROSTER GAVE BALANCE
While the Slingers' imports topped the team's scoresheet last night, Neo felt that the local roster played a major role in striking a balance.
"Our local boys may not have contributed by scoring, but they really came out, played good defence and helped with the side rotation, which is what we want to keep encouraging.
"I'm pretty happy with everybody's performance, because in this game, I tried my best to rotate all the players as we want to run them down and we did some pressing as well, so that helped us on the win."
But looking at the game statistics, Neo believes that there is still much work to be done.
He said: "As compared to the last game, we definitely cut down on the offensive rebounds, but it's still too many for us to give up.
"But this time round, we have only seven turnovers, which is good because we want to keep encouraging single-digit turnovers."
With their next game coming on Sunday in Surabaya, Neo's men face a race against time to freshen up to face CLS Knights Indonesia.
"We have only one day of practice so, right now, recovery is important.
"The players have ample time to rest and then we go again."