SportsHub OCBC Arena, Singapore – The JobStreet.com Singapore Slingers inched closer to a playoff berth with a victory over the Saigon Heat, 79-65 at the OCBC Arena, Singapore on Wednesday night.
“It’s good that we are one step closer to making a return to the playoffs after missing out in the last two seasons. But, we don’t like to think that far ahead just yet. We will learn from this game and keep improving before the Playoffs,” said Slingers’ Head Coach Neo Beng Siang after the game. “We still have 3 tough road games left and I’m still hoping we can fight for the second spot and get homecourt advantage in the semi finals.”
The Singapore side got a big performance from Justin Howard who finished with 24 points and 20 rebounds. Dior Lowhorn added 20 points and 9 rebounds, while Wong Wei Long added 14 points more. Desmond Oh stuffed the stat book with 7 points, 9 rebounds and 5 assists in a very solid all round performance for the Slingers who improved to an 11-6 record. They now trailWestports Malaysia Dragons by just one game for the second spot in the 2014 AirAsia ASEAN Basketball League standings.
In a game where the Slingers sported pink playing uniforms for their annual Cancer Awareness game, the home side got off to a slow start with the Heat taking an early 8-2 lead. They quickly settled in though and responded immediately by launching an 8-2 run of their to tie the game at 10-10 with 4 minutes left in the first period.
Singapore’s first and only professional basketball team continued to control the tempo of the game in the second period taking an 8 point lead into halftime, 46-38. Wong Wei Long put in a solid performance in the second quarter, scoring 11 of his 14 points.
The Saigon Heat started the second half better than the Slingers and fought back to trim the lead to 2, 50-48, after Williams’ beautiful spin move for a layup with 5:33 left. Unfortunately for Saigon, they were not able to get any closer as the Slingers’ defense held Saigon to only 17 points the rest of the way.
Wong Wei Long’s jumper over the long stretched arms of the Heat’s Williams with 2 minutes left gave the Slingers a 74-62 lead and put the game out of reach for the Heat.
The Jobstreet.com Singapore Slingers will now have an 11-day break before traveling to Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia to play the Westports Malaysia Dragons on Sunday, October 12, at the MABA Stadium.
JobStreet.com Singapore Slingers: Justin Howard – 24, Dior Lowhorn – 20, Wong Wei Long – 14, Desmond Oh – 7, Larry Liew – 4, Ng Han Bin – 3, Al Vergara – 3, Russel Low – 2, Tan Chin Hong– 2.
Saigon Heat: Justin Williams – 20, Dustin Scott – 15, Leo Avenido – 12, Frolian Baguion – 11, David Arnold – 5, Ryan Le – 2.