It was defense that won the game for the Singapore Slingers in their last outing against San Miguel Alab Pilipinas and it would take the same effort to stop the fiery Macau Black Bears on their home floor.
The Slingers finally snapped a three-game losing skid in their last outing as they suffocated Alab by limiting them to only 64 points in the match. Now Singapore will try to use the momentum they built from that win to take care of business on the road this time against a difficult opponent.
Holding a record of two wins against four losses, the Slingers have not yet scored a victory on the road and they hope that it would come sooner rather than later.
Xavier Alexander had a big bounce-back game against Alab as he almost notched a rare quadruple-double with 31 points, 10 rebounds, 12 assists, and eight steals. Singapore also got good performances from their other two imports as Marcus Elliott and Anthony McClain chipped in 19 and 18 points, respectively.
Against the Black Bears, the Slingers will have to be wary of their high-scoring tandem of Kenny Manigault and Mikh McKinney as these two players can take over the game at any given point, especially now that they have grown accustomed to their home floor after playing thrice there already.
Manigault is an all-around player who is arguably the best two-way player in the league right now as he norms 25.0 points, 7.8 rebounds, 5.6 assists, 2.7 steals, and 1.1 blocks per game. Like Alexander for the Slingers, Manigault does everything for the Black Bears.
McKinney, on the other end, remains to be a dangerous scorer but he has put more effort into making plays for his teammates this season. He averages 23.5 points, 5.1 rebounds, and 7.2 assists per game. His shooting from the three-point range has gone down considerably as he shot better than 40% in his first two seasons in the league but is now down to 27% this season.
A matchup that Singapore can try to take advantage of is at the center position as they the 7-foot McClain going up against Brandon Edwards who is listed only a 6-foot-6. However, Edwards has shown the capacity to go up against bigger opponents by using his speed and tenacity to his advantage.
It should be another tight match for Singapore but the Slingers are driven to finally get going in the ABL’s 10th season and it all starts by targeting to score their first back-to-back wins.