For the second straight game, the Singapore Slingers limited their opponents to under 17 points in three quarters as they picked up a huge come-from-behind win against Hong Kong Eastern, 73-67, in a closed-door game inside the Southorn Stadium, Friday evening.
The Slingers were down by as many as 18 points in the third quarter but they refused to quit as they wanted to keep their momentum going. They won three of their last four games are were out to level with three other teams at .500. The home team went on a 10-0 run to start the third capped by a layup from Brandis Raley-Ross that installed a 50-32 advantage.
Xavier Alexander quickly went to work as the Slingers’ vaunted defense slowly suffocated Hong Kong Eastern’s offense with the home team only picking up five points in the final seven minutes of the third period allowing Singapore to move closer, 55-51, heading into the fourth.
Like many times in the past, Marcus Elliott took over in the payoff period where he dropped 12 of his 23 points. He swished a huge triple that finally tied the game at 65-all with only 2:21 remaining in the contest. Elliott then gave his new team the lead with a layup.
After Raley-Ross tied the count with two free throws, the three Slinger imports combined to put the game away. First, it was Anthony McClain scoring a put-back after his own miss. Then it was Elliott connecting with two free throws. Finally, it was Alexander that sealed the deal with two more free throws that extended their lead to six with just 10 seconds remaining.
Elliott led the Slingers in scoring for the second straight game with 23 points, 11 rebounds, and eight assists while not committing a single turnover. Alexander also had a steady all-around performance with 17 points, six rebounds, and six assists while McClain came up with his usual double-double with 18 points and 16 rebounds. Singapore overcame a poor game from Delvin Goh who failed to score a single point in 19 minutes of action. However, the big local was able to help out in other aspects of the game with four assists.
Singapore defense forced Hong Kong Eastern to a miserable 35% from the field. Brandon Costner led them with 17 points and 13 rebounds but only made four of his 13 attempts. Raley-Ross added 16 points, 10 rebounds, and seven assists while Holyfield chipped in 10 points and 11 rebounds.
The Slingers upped their win-loss record to 5-5 as they are now one of four teams at .500 along with the Dragons (4-4), Dreamers (6-6), and Black Bears (7-7). Hong Kong Eastern fell to 3-7 with their third straight loss.
The Slingers continue their road trip as they face off against San Miguel Alab Pilipinas on Sunday.