It would be the fourth and final meeting of the regular season between the Singapore Slingers and the Kuala Lumpur Dragons as the ASEAN Basketball League resumes action, on March 6, at the MABA Stadium in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.
The Slingers are out to level the season series as the Dragons are currently up two wins against one. The interesting facet of this head-to-head match-up is that the road team has won all three games. Kuala Lumpur picked up a 79-68 victory at the OCBC Arena in their first meeting with Singapore responding with a tight 88-87 win on the road.
In their third game against each other in two weeks, the Dragons scored another win on the Slingers’ homecourt, 77-68, last February 23.
The Dragons are on an upswing as of late as they have won four of their last five games. Kuala Lumpur currently has a record of nine wins against seven losses, which is good enough for the fourth spot.
Singapore, on the other end, is at the seventh spot with a 7-9 win-loss tally as they have lost three of their last four games.
Marcus Elliott continues to lead the Slingers with 20.2 points, 8.4 rebounds, and 4.3 assists per game. Right behind him is Xavier Alexander who usually puts up 19.9 points, 9.4 rebounds, and 6.3 rebounds per game. The problem is Singapore’s two main gunners are not shooting well from the field with Elliott at 36% and Alexander at 41%.
The Slingers will have to undergo a lot of adjustments as they have placed Anthony McClain on the injured list. The big man puts up double-doubles on a consistent basis for Singapore with 15.3 points and 13.3 rebounds while also being a presence on the defensive end with 3.7 blocks per contest.
Stepping in for McClain is Jameel McKay who is all set to make his ABL debut. He’s very different from the burly big man as McKay is an athletic big who can move around on defense. He may not be a low post threat but he can help out in other aspects of the game.
McKay might just be part of the solution for the Slingers against the Dragons as they’ve done very well against teams with big and slow imports. Kuala Lumpur holds two wins against Singapore and San Miguel Alab Pilipinas as they’ve banked on their fluid offense and the scoring talent of Will Artino to take advantage of slow big men. McKay is fast enough to stay in front of Kuala Lumpur’s speedier big men but also has the size to handle Artino at the post.
With three games between the two teams, the Slingers already know what the Dragons bring to the table. Amir Bell is the key to their offense as he sets everyone up while Cade Davis is their gunslinger who can heat up at any given time. The Dragons can also get contributions from their locals, especially from the three-point range.
As always, for Singapore to level the series against Kuala Lumpur, defense will be the name of the game and the long break in the action might have been exactly what they needed to allow McKay to learn their system and know more about the rest of the Slingers to be able to help secure a victory.