The Singapore Slingers had to wait for an entire year to return to the Semfinals of the ASEAN Basketball. After making it back, they served notice that they were not going to waste the opportunity.
Bannered by a terrific scoring performance from John Fields, and a lock down defensive effort, the Slingers dealt Hong Kong Eastern a beatdown inside the OCBC Arena via a 101-70 win in Game 1 of the ABL Semifinals.
The game was hardly in doubt from the get go, as the Slingers rushed out of the gates in impressive fashion. The squad was able to open up a 12 point advantage at the end of the first quarter, 32-20. John Fields starred in the period, as he threw down dunks left and right despite the best efforts of Hong Kong to slow him down. He set the tone for what would prove to be a runaway game for Singapore, particularly in the 2nd quarter. The squad outscored Hong Kong 29-12 in an incredible display of offense and defense that put away the game for good. The Slingers entered the half up 61-32, and never looked back.
“We didn’t expect that, Slingers Head Coach Neo Beng Siang share. “As a team, we respect the opponents. Today is just unlucky for them- they didn’t make the shots. But I’m pretty happy with my team. They came out with good energy and intensity. They played good basketball on both ends.”
That good basketball would carry over to the second half, where the Slingers took care of business and cruised to the victory. Behind hot shooting from Ng Han Bin and Larry Liew, who both made three triples in the game, the Slingers were able to take the lad by as many as 35 points en route to the monster victory.
As a team, the Slingers shot 9/17 from beyond the arc, good for 56%. Coach Neo was proud of his team’s accurate shooting. “I think that’s our best percentage,” Coach Neo said. “We played together as a team- everybody trusts each other. Hopefully we can keep that up and do a good job.”
John Fields paced the Slingers with 29 points and 11 rebounds, while Alexander almost grabbed a triple-double with a stellar performance of 16 points, 9 rebounds and 11 assists.
Delvin Goh was also impressive in Game 1, as the big man had had a rock solid game of 15 points, 9 rebounds and 6 assists. Liew and Han Bin chipped in with 11 and 9 points apiece.
The Slingers will aim for a return trip to the Finals on April 17, as they lock horns with Hong Kong in Game 2 of the Semfinals at the Southorn Stadium in Wan Chai, Hong Kong.