OCBC Arena Singapore 25th February 2018
Two-time World Import MVP Chris Charles just reminded everyone that he can still put up gaudy numbers.
In the Singapore Slingers’ 94-76 win over the Saigon Heat, Charles poured in 24 points and a career-high 29 rebounds. He also added 7 assists and was a force on the defensive end with 6 blocks.
Charles dictated the pace and momentum of the game by controlling the rebounds. By halftime, he already had a double-double of 14 points and 19 rebounds and single-handedly outrebounded the entire Heat team. At the end of the game, he was three rebounds short from tying the ABL record of 32 set by Brian Williams of the CLS Knights earlier in the season.
Fellow World Import Xavier Alexander did his share by nearly notching a triple-double. The X-Man tallied 17 points, 13 boards, and 8 dimes. AJ Mandani meanwhile was on fire throughout the contest finishing with 25 points on 11-for-15 shooting, including three triples.
Akeem Scott led the way for the Heat with 23 points and 9 rebounds while Maxie Esho added 20 points. Saigon still missed the services of Moses Morgan who was out due to a leg injury.
A layup by David Arnold made it into a 7-point game, 67-60, early in the fourth quarter as the Heat were determined to take the road victory. However, the Slingers answered on a Larry Liew 3 point buzzer beater and from that point the Slingers went on a 10-0 run to push their advantage to 17 points, 77-60, courtesy of a Ng Han Bin triple with roughly six minutes left in the game. Every time the Heat tried to mount a run, Charles and company would answer with a run of their own.
The Slingers led by as much as 20 points, dominating the Heat in six vital statistical categories including rebounds, assists, steals, points from turnovers, second chance points, and bench points.
Singapore, finalists in the last two ABL seasons, improve their record to 9-7, good for fifth place in the standings. Right behind them are the Heat who drop to 7-8.