OCBC Arena, Singapore – Two days after suffering their worst defeat in the 2014 AirAsia ASEAN Basketball League in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, the JobStreet.com Singapore Slingers regrouped to notch a victory over their cross-border rival, the Westports Malaysia Dragons, 77-68. With the win, the Slingers snapped the Dragons’ 4-game winning streak. It is also the first victory for the Singapore side over Malaysia in 3 games this season.

Kyle Jeffers, who struggled offensively the last time they faced the Dragons’, led the Slingers with 17 points, 13 rebounds, 3 steals, and 2 blocks. Slingers’ Rookie Russel Low had his best output so far with 12 points and 7 rebounds.

The visiting Westports Malaysia Dragons were led by Moala Tautuaa’s 13 points and 10 rebounds, while Justin Knox recorded 12 points and 11 rebounds before fouling out with 6:44 left in the game.

It was clearly a close match early on as both teams stepped on the pedal to grab an early lead. Kyle Jeffers, the only World Import who has played for 5 straight years with the same team in the AirAsia ASEAN Basketball League, opened the scoring chores for the night.  The Dragons’ Ooi Ban Sin scored 4 straight points before Russel Low tied the game at 4 apiece. The Slingers then went on a 10-0 run which saw the Dragons’ quickly calling for time. Foul trouble plagued the Dragons’ in the opening canto that saw Tautuaa and Ban Sin picking up 2 fouls each, which the Slingers then capitalized on as they made converted 7 of 9 free throws. At the end of the 1st Quarter, the Slingers held an 8 point margin, 19-11.

Adam Becis, who was signed up by the Slingers to temporarily fill their World Import vacancy, lit up the scoreboard with back to back 3 pointers in the start of the 2nd Quarter to the delight of the hometown crowd. Becis, an Australian national who currently works in Singapore as an Engineer, finished the game with 12 points, 4 rebounds, and 4 assists in 25 minutes of action.

The Ariel Vanguardia-mentored squad fought back in the 2nd Quarter. Led by Wee Seng Wong’s 11 points, they were able to cut the Slingers’ lead to 2 with 4:25 to go before halftime. Wong was perfect from the floor as he made 5 of 5 FGs and added a steal in that run. The Slingers’ were able to regain a comfortable lead though as Desmond Oh and Wong Wei Long combined for 12 points to close the quarter that saw the Slingers up at halftime 43-32.

The Dragons continued to trim down the deficit at the beginning of the 3rd Quarter. Their defense limited the Slingers to 11 points and only allowed the Slingers to convert 4 of 24 tries from the field. With 3:32 to go in the 3rd, The Dragons were able to finally take the lead, 51-49, on a dunk by Tautuaa off a Scharer assist. That wouldn’t last long though as points from Jeffers, Low, and Becis ensured that the Slingers remain on top after 3 quarters, 54-52.

Fans at the newly built OCBC Arena were treated to a fantastic game as they saw 3 deadlocks and 3 lead changes in the first few minutes of the final quarter. Jeffers and Tautuaa traded baskets as both wanted to give their respective teams the lead. Becis’ 3 pointer off a Vergara pass put the home team up for good, 62-60, with 6:28 to play. Back to back baskets from Low after a field goal from Eversley saw the Slingers lead extend to 4, 66-62. A shot from behind the arc from Vergara, who finished the game with 11 points, further ballooned the lead to 7 that finally put the Dragons at bay.

The JobStreet.com Singapore Slingers face the Indonesia Warriors this Friday, August 22, at the OCBC Arena in Singapore. Game is scheduled to start at 8:00PM. Tickets can be purchased from Sports Hub Tix.

Box Scores:
JobStreet.com Singapore Slingers 77
– Jeffers 17, Becis 12, Low 12, Wei Long 11, Vergara 11, Desmond 5, Han Bin 4, Delvin 4, Qingde 1.

Westports Malaysia Dragons 68 – Tautuaa 13, Knox 12, Ooi 11, Wong 11, Eversley 10, Scharer 7, Yim 2, Kuek 2, Tong 0, Ng 0, Kwaan 0.

Quarter Scores: 19-11, 43-32, 54-52, 77-68.

 

 

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