Slingers Turn Heat Away; Keep Playoffs Hopes Alive
Singapore - The JobStreet.com Singapore Slingers kept their bid for a playoff berth alive as they won over the Saigon Heat, 73-67. Louis Graham led the Slingers with 29 points and 15 rebounds. Fellow American import Kyle Jeffers had 20 points and 14 rebounds. The Slingers have now won 3 of their last 4 games, and currently sit in 5th place in the AirAsia ASEAN Basketball League with an 8-10 win-loss record.
Jonathan Jones of the Saigon Heat led everyone in scoring with 31 points. He also pulled down 12 rebounds. Jahmar Thorpe struggled offensively, shooting 7 of 19 from the field on his way to 16 points. The Heat have now lost their 3rd consecutive game and have a 6-12 win-loss record.
"Our game plan today was to limit Saigon's scoring opportunities. Although we started the game poorly on offense, our guys were able to turn it around in the 2nd half. The team showed how hungry they were to make the playoffs," said Coach Neo Beng Siang, Head Coach of the JobStreet.com Singapore Slingers.
The Slingers currently lead the league in defense, allowing only 70.33 points per game. Against the Heat on Sunday afternoon, they forced the visiting team into 14 turnovers and limited them to 3 of 17 field goals from the three point line.
Both teams started slow as the first quarter ended at a 10-all deadlock. The Slingers had a 21% field goal percentage while the Heat had a 24% field goal percentage. Saigon kicked it up a notch though in the 2nd quarter that allowed them to enjoy a 34-31 lead at halftime.
The JobStreet.com Singapore Slingers came alive when the 2nd half started, as Singapore's first and only professional basketball team limited Saigon to 12 points in the 3rd quarter. At the end of the 3rd quarter, the Slingers led the Heat 49-46.
The Slingers continued their offensive prowess as they opened the final quarter with a 6-0 run that saw their lead balloon to 55-46. The Heat tried to regroup but the Slingers defense was too much as they were unable to regain their lead.
"Tonight's game was a must win for us. Even though we didn't play well for the entire 40 minutes, in the end we did enough to get the win and keep our playoff hopes alive. We will probably need to win our remaining 3 regular season games to make the ABL playoffs which will be a tough task but we are playing well enough of late to believe we have a real chance," said Michael Johnson, General Manager of the JobStreet.com Singapore Slingers.
Still on a hunt for a playoff spot, the JobStreet.com Singapore Slingers will travel to the Philippines to play the AirAsia Philippine Patriots on Saturday, May 5th. For more information about the JobStreet.com Singapore Slingers, log onto our website, www.singaporeslingers.com. Follow us on Facebook - www.facebook.com/OfficialSingaporeSlingers, and Twitter - www.twitter.com/SGSlingers.