Tan Binh Stadium, Vietnam – The JobStreet.com Singapore Slingers grabbed their first road win of the season after they outlasted the Saigon Heat 76-72 at Tan Binh Stadium, Vietnam earlier tonight.
The Heat’s head coach Jason Rabedeaux has put more emphasis on rebounding during this week’s practice but his team was unable to get the job done on the boards tonight. Rashad Jones-Jennings and Kyle Jeffers dominated the boards which led to the Slingers outrebounding the Heat 51-34. The Slingers had 24 offensive rebounds which they converted into 18 second chance points.
Jones-Jennings had his best game yet in his first season with the Slingers as he finished with 29 points and 19 rebounds. Jeffers added 16 points and 14 rebounds while Mitchell Folkoff chipped in with 12 points.
Jai Reyes hit a three-point shot with 7:26 left in the third quarter to give the Heat a 41-38 lead. However, the Slingers responded with a quick seven points on a basket from Jones-Jennings, a three-point from Don Dulay and a long two-point shot from Folkoff which gave the Slingers a 45-51 lead with 5:27 left. The Slingers maintained their lead heading into the final quarter after a tip-in from Jun Cabatu gave the Slingers a 59-54 lead at the end of the third quarter.
The momentum was going the Slingers way early in the fourth quarter as they stretched their lead to 63-54 on a lay-up from Desmond Oh and Jones-Jennings with 8:40 left. Then Dior Lowhorn and Reyes hit back to back threes to help the Heat trim their deficit to 3 points with 6 minutes left.
With the Heat closing up, Folkoff and Jones-Jennings made a a shot each to push the Slingers lead back to 69-61 with four minutes left. Palmer, who has been clutch all season long, got the Heat within 4 points with 1:16 left after making a lay-up. Down by 4, Reyes stole the ball from Oh but Phillip Morrison, who had a clean look, missed a three-point shot which would have trimmed the Heat’s deficit to 1 point.
With 26 seconds left, Morrison successfully converted a three-point play which shaved the Slingers lead to 72-69. With time running out, the Heat had to foul the Slingers to put them at the free throw line. Palmer, who was already sitting on 4 fouls, fouled out with 23 seconds left. Jeffers had a chance to put the game away but he ended splitting his free throws, giving the Slingers a 73-69 lead.
Off a time out with 19 left, Morrison mishandled the inbound pass from Larry Tieu. Don Dulay picked up the loose ball and was fouled by Morrison. Dulay calmly made two free throws to give the Slingers their fourth win of the season.
Slingers’ head coach Neo Beng Siang was very happy with this big road win. “This is a very big win for us. I was very happy with the performance from all my players. This will be a morale boost for our next game against the San Miguel Beermen,” said coach Neo after the game.
Lowhorn put in an impressive performance after sitting out last Sunday’s game. Lowhorn finished with 31 points and 10 rebounds. Jai Reyes chipped in with 15 points while Palmer struggled a little bit in this game and only managed 13 points on 5 of 14 shooting.
Free throws hurt the Heat a lot in the final quarter. They missed 6 crucial free throws in the final quarter and shot 38% from the free throw line the whole game. With this loss, the Heat are now with 3 wins and 4 losses.
The Slingers will be facing another tough challenge when they welcome the San Miguel Beermen to the Singapore Indoor Stadium in just two days’ time on Sunday the 24th of February. The Heat will try to snap their two-game losing streak on March 1st when they host the Chang Thailand Slammers.
For up to date information about the JobStreet.com Singapore Slingers, always log on to the team’s official website, www.singaporeslingers.com. You may also follow us on Facebook, www.facebook.com/OfficialSingaporeSlingers and on Twitter, www.twitter.com/SGSlingers.