Slingers One Win Away from ABL titleThe Singapore Slingers are one win away from claiming the 2019 ABL Championship as they retook home-court advantage as well with a Game 3 win in Surabaya. As always, it was the defense that dictated the win for the Slingers who outscored the BTN CLS Knights Indonesia, 63-60, Wednesday night.

It was a hotly contested game that headed into the final period deadlocked at 47-all. Singapore tried to take control midway through the quarter as a basket from John Fields was quickly followed by a triple from Jerran Young for a 56-51 advantage. However, the Knights would stay in the game as they got within one, 58-57, after a triple from Douglas Herring.

Xavier Alexander hit a big shot with 26 seconds remaining that extended Singapore’s lead back up to three, 60-57, with Maxie Esho responding with a dunk on the other side for the Knights. With the shot clock already turned off, the home team had no choice but to foul and prolong the game and they got lucky as Delvin Goh only came up with a split for a 61-59 lead.

To make things worse, Goh fouled Brandon Jawato, which game him the opportunity to tie the game and send in into overtime. Jawato only managed a split and Young extended their lead back up to three with free throws on the other end.

Esho’s last ditch three-point attempt was wide to the left as the buzzer sounded, giving the Slingers a 2-1 series lead.

“Defensively, we held them to 60 points. We didn’t play well on offense but defensively we were locked in,” said Singapore head coach Neo Beng Siang. “We want to finish it off here,” coach Beng Siang said. “We have to be mentally tough and be more physical, lock it down, and play our basketball.”

Game 3 will be on May 11.

Fields led Singapore with 16 points and 14 rebounds but the big factor in the game was Young who also finished with 16 points while adding nine rebounds, four steals, and three blocks. Coming off a hamstring injury, Young managed to play 34 minutes in the game to bolster the defense of the Slingers.

Alexander almost came up with a triple double with 11 points, nine rebounds, and eight assists while Ng Hanbin continued his stellar performance off the bench with eight points.

Esho powered the Knights with 19 points and 13 rebounds but they really missed the output from Daryl Watkins who only had five points on 1 of 9 shooting from the field.

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LEON KWEK

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http://www.singaporeslingers.com/wp/wp-content/uploads/2017/10/PLAYER-PROFILE-RUSSEL-LOW.pdf

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DELVIN GOH

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DELVIN GOH

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