Basketball

Slingers in do-or-die mission

Singapore side must beat Mono Vampire on Sunday to keep their play-off campaign alive

ASEAN BASKETBALL LGE
PLAY-OFF Q-FINAL, Game 2
SINGAPORE SLINGERS MONO VAMPIRE

The Singapore Slingers will be seeking the spirit of 2016 as they bid to keep their play-off campaign alive.

They need to beat Thai side Mono Vampire at the OCBC Arena in Game 2 of their Asean Basketball League quarter-finals on Sunday, after losing the first match 85-82 in Bangkok on Friday.

A defeat would mean an early exit for the Singapore side who had reached the play-off Finals in the last two years. They need to win to take the tie to Wednesday's decider in Bangkok.

To be sure, Neo Beng Siang's men had found themselves with their backs to the wall before.

In 2016, the Singapore side had also faced a similar do-or-die situation.

They had also lost by three points - 70-73 - to another Thai side, defending champions Hi-Tech Bangkok City, in the first match of their semi-finals, before storming back to clinch their first-ever Finals ticket with 95-66 and 68-60 wins.

While it was disappointing to lose the first match, they can take heart from a valiant display in Bangkok. 

Two of their star players also recorded double-doubles on Friday.

Christien Charles scored 26 points and had 23 rebounds, and swingman Xavier Alexander grabbed 23 points, 12 rebounds and eight assists.

But the Slingers must continue to keep a tight leash on Vampire's two giants  - the 1.98m forward Michael Singletary, who was limited to just 15 points in the first match, and 2.3m centre Samuel Deguera, who racked up 21 points. 

An intimidating atmosphere at the OCBC Arena, with vociferous support from Singapore supporters, would certainly make the Slingers' task slightly easier. 

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Singapore Slingers