The Singapore Slingers came back from 16 points down as they gallantly fought back but ultimately fell short against San Miguel Alab Pilipinas, falling 86-77, in overtime.
After looking listless in the first two quarters of action, the Slingers employed their vaunted defense, forcing the home team to a handful of turnovers. With Xavier Alexander and Marcus Elliott being two of the most dangerous weapons in the league in open court situations, the Slingers managed to battle back. Alab built a 16-point advantage, 49-33, early in the third quarter thanks to a basket from Nick King but the Slingers quickly answered back with a 12-0 run powered by eight points from Leon Kwek.
Another local chipped in for the Slingers later in the period as the returning Ng Hanbin sank a triple that tied the count at 52-all.
A couple of triples from Kwek and Alexander game Singapore a 69-65 advantage midway through a tight fourth quarter with neither team allowing the other to gain a big advantage. In the final minute of the fourth period, Anthony McClain converted on two pressure-packed free throws to tie the count at 71-apiece with the Slingers defense refusing to allow another Alab basket as the game stretched into an overtime period.
Buoyed by their hometown fans, Alab simply had more energy left in the additional five minutes with Jason Brickman scoring seven of his 16 points in the overtime period. The Slingers were outscored 13-2 in the final three minutes of the game to drop to the sixth spot with a 5-6 win-loss tally.
Alab, after scoring a win on the road against Mono Vampire earlier in the week, are now a win away from tying the Thai squad for the top spot.
Kwek had his best game of the season so far as he led the Slingers with 19 points as he shots 7 of 8 from the field, including five triples. Elliott picked up 18 points but did not shoot well from the field as 7 of 26. Delvin Goh added 12 points with Alexander and McClain both chipping in 11 points.
In their past, there were games where McClain, Alexander, and Goh would all get double-digit numbers in rebounding but this would not be the case against Alab. The Slingers were clobbered by Alab in that department 54-36, leading to a 16-9 advantage in second-chance points.
Singapore had a tough time containing Sam Deguara who grabbed 20 rebounds on less than 25 minutes on the floor. King led Alab with 20 points while Brickman backed him up with 16.
The Slingers will get the opportunity to pick up a bounce-back win at home this Sunday at the OCBC Arena but it would come easily as they face off against the Taipei Fubon Braves at 4 pm.