Slingers' Defense Hounds Dragons
Singapore - The JobStreet.com Singapore Slingers have proven once again that defense is their main priority when they only allowed the visiting Westports Malaysia Dragons to 4 points in the 1st quarter. The Slingers won 81-70, avenging their early season loss to the Dragons in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. The Dragons have now lost 5 straight games.
"The guys showed how hungry they were tonight. Their defensive intensity in the first quarter was phenomenal. We are still integrating Kyle (Jeffers) back into the team on both ends of the floor. The long break that we have will surely be a big help to us," mentioned JobStreet.com Head Coach Neo Beng Siang.
Westports Malaysia Dragons bogged down on offense during the opening quarter as they were only able to convert 2 of 12 shots. The previous AirAsia ASEAN Basketball League record for fewest points score in a quarter was held by the Brunei Barrcudas, who scored 6 points, also against the Slingers, last season.
Louis Graham led all scorers with 24 points. Graham also grabbed 9 rebounds and had 3 blocks. Kyle Jeffers had his third consecutive double double with 17 points and 20 rebounds. Also in double figures for the JobStreet.com Singapore Slingers were Wong Wei Long with 13 points, and Don Dulay with 11.
"This game shows what our guys can do if they put their minds to it. Defensively, we were okay. We played 1 great quarter of defense and held them (Dragons) to only 4 points. Offensively though, we were very patchy. We weren't able to capitalize on some mismatches early on and missed several easy layups in the first half," said Michael Johnson, General Manager of the JobStreet.com Singapore Slingers.
Import Devon Sullivan led the Dragons in his first game scoring 16 points. He replaced former Slinger Donald Little in the Dragons' roster. Helping Sullivan in the scoring column were Malaysians' John Ng with 12 points, and Shee Fai Loh, who scored 11 points. Patrick Cabahug had 10 points on 3 of 10 shooting.
The Dragons bench tried to pick up the scoring for the team, outscoring the Slingers bench 27 to 15.
Desmond Oh and Vaughn Canta took their defensive chores with a passion in the game limiting Dragons import Dwayne Moore to 7 points. Moore was only able to convert 2 of 14 shots. The JobStreet.com Singapore Slingers also forced the Dragons to 17 turnovers in the game.
With the win, the Slingers are now in 5th place in the AirAsia ASEAN Basketball League standings with a 6 win - 9 loss record. The Dragons are in 3rd place with a 7 win - 7 loss record.
The JobStreet.com Singapore Slingers now have a 3 week break in their schedule before returning to the court to host the Bangkok Cobras on Sunday April 22nd, at the Singapore Indoor Stadium. The Cobras are coached by Joe 'Jellybean' Bryant, father of Los Angeles Lakers Superstar Kobe Bryant. Coach Bryant previously played in the National Basketball Association (NBA) and has had coaching stints with the Los Angeles Sparks of the WNBA, Japan, and Italy. Tip Off is at 4PM and tickets are available through Sistic at www.sistic.com.sg.
JobStreet.com Singapore Slingers 81 - Graham 24, Jeffers 17, Wei Long 13, Dulay 11, Canta 9, Desmond 5, Steven 2, Sheng Yu 0
Westports Malaysia Dragons 70 - Sullivan 16, Ng 12, Loh 11, Cabahug 10, Moore 7, Pacana 7, Batumalai 5, Belasco 2, Lau 0, Kuek 0, Chee 0
Quarter Scores 16-4, 38-26, 57-46, 81-70
Don Dulay leading the charge
Kyle Jeffers positioning on a rebound
Wong Wei Long drives against the Dragons' Guga