The fourth quarter has been the bane of the Singapore Slingers’ existence this season. They finally overcame this hurdle with a spirited end game performance against the Macau Black Bears as the Slingers won, 96-95, inside Hall D of The Venetian Macau. It was also the first road win of the season for the Slingers.
The Black Bears looked like they were in complete control of the game against Singapore as they even stretched their lead to 19 points, 74-55, midway through the third period. However, the gallant Slingers scratched and clawed their way back into the game.
Kenny Manigault hit two free throws with 3:53 remaining in the match to push the Black Bears ahead by nine points, 95-86, but still, the Slingers did not quit. Head coach Neo Beng Siang called a timeout and Singapore responded by buckling down on defense.
The Black Bears did not score a single point after Manigault’s freebies. Marcus Elliott started the run with two free throws with Xavier Alexander also chipping in a split. Elliott came up big with a triple to inch them closer, 95-92, with still 2:11 remaining in the match.
Delvin Goh then grabbed an offensive rebound and put-back off an Anthony McClain miss before Alexander finally pushed the Slingers ahead with two free throws. Macau had two more opportunities in the end game to salvage a win but a corner three-ball attempt from Warren Liao was blocked by Goh and a buzzer-beating one-hander from Mikh McKinney was well-defended by McClain to seal the deal for Singapore.
It’s the first time that the Slingers won back-to-back wins this season as they built on the confidence they got from their victory against San Miguel Alab Pilipinas at the OCBC Arena.
Although they allowed more than 30 points in the first three quarters of the game, the defense finally held for Singapore in the end as they outscored the Black Bears 25-8 in the final period.
Alexander and Elliott played beautiful music together as they both scored 26 points in the game. The two former ABL World Import – MVPs also combined for 13 rebounds and 16 assists. McClain chipped in 17 points and nine rebounds while Leon Kwek added 15 points on 3 of 5 shooting from beyond the arc. Even though Goh only scored four points in the game, he chipped in eight rebounds and four assists and his late put-back and block saved the day for Singapore.
McKinney led the Black Bears with 23 points, eight rebounds, and nine assists while Manigault added 22 points. Brandon Edwards was once again solid in the shaded area with 11 points, nine rebounds, and seven blocks.
Next up for the Slingers will be another home game against the league-leading Mono Vampire on January 19 at the OCBC Arena.