Slingers sweating over Wong's injury
Injury jinx hits Slingers again as key starter sits out last match of regular season
|SAIGON HEAT||SINGAPORE SLINGERS|
Forward Wu Qingde is ruled out for the rest of the season with a knee injury.
American imports Justin Howard and Xavier Alexander have also missed key games this season.
The injury jinx has struck the Singapore Slingers again after point guard and starter Wong Wei Long suffered a mild concussion in last Sunday's 88-71 home loss to the Saigon Heat.
The 28-year-old will sit out the last match of the regular season against the same opponents at the Ho Xuan Huong Stadium in Ho Chih Minh today.
Wong told The New Paper yesterday that he will go for another check-up next Tuesday, although he is confident he can recover in time for the Slingers' first game in the play-off semi-finals against third-ranked Alab Pilipinas next Sunday.
The two teams are 2-2 in head-to-head encounters.
Wong's absence comes as a blow to Slingers head coach Neo Beng Siang who is keeping his fingers crossed that there are no more injuries before the first game of the play-offs.
"I'm taking it game by game, I'll deal with Saigon first and think about the Alab game only after that," said Neo, who is likely to replace Wong with Leon Kwek in the starting line-up.
"It's our last game and, of course, we want a win.
"We'll have to go out and play really aggressive if we want to get the winning momentum for the play-offs.
"But I have to balance it with resting my key players.
"I'll definitely give them court time to prepare them for the play-offs, but it won't be the full 40 minutes.
"I'm not going to risk anything. I have to encourage them, motivate them and everyone needs to be focused on what he's supposed to do."
With centre Delvin Goh back in the fray and likely to play in his first away game of the season, Neo is confident that his side can match the Heat.
"At the end, I'm just going to cross my fingers and hope everyone is healthy," he said.
Added Slingers' captain Desmond Oh: "We're ready for the play-offs and, hopefully, this game will give us momentum to carry us there.
"We're still waiting on Wei Long, but our plan stays the same. The result will come as long as we play hard together."