Singapore aims to notch win against former Slinger
Without preseason games against ASEAN Basketball League opponents, at this early stage in the season, it’s hard to prepare for a team you’ve never seen before.
But in Sunday’s Singapore Slingers opponent, Alab Pilipinas, there’s at least one player they know a lot about.
Lee Seung-jun, Alab’s frontcourt world import from South Korea, played for the Slingers in 2008-09 after the Singapore team withdrew from the Australian National Basketball League and competed in tournaments all across Asia and in the Singapore Challenge Series.
Lee Seung-jun was known as Eric Sandrin back then, and he was a mainstay of the Slingers line up and was well-liked by the organisation and Singapore fans.
After his stint with the Slingers, Lee became a South Korean citizen and played for the national team in the 2010 Asian Games and 2013 FIBA Asia Championships.
He has played in the Korean Basketball League since leaving Singapore and most recently played for the Seoul Knights.
Lee Seung-jun (38) joins his brother Lee Dong-jun (36) and Filipino star Bobby Ray Parks Jr. to form an experienced frontcourt trio for the new ABL team.
The Lee brothers have played with each other for the past two years in Korea, and Parks joins Alab after a stint in the NBA Development League with Texas Legends where he scored a season-high 16 points against Oklahoma City Blue and averaged 4.6 points per game.
The Slingers back up from a comfortable 80-62 win over Malaysia Dragons at OCBC Arena on Friday night, and will need to contain the trio in order to secure a 2-0 start to the season.
Friday’s game one star Leon Kwek says the Slingers’ key to victory will be on the defensive end.
“For us, it’s all about our defence,” Kwek said after scoring a career-high 20 points in the season opener.
“We held Malaysia to 62 points which is pretty good but we can definitely improve.
“Alab have got the Sandrin brothers and Parks so we will need to be switched on.”
Coach Neo Beng Siang said the Slingers would need to improve their teamwork after Friday’s win.
“We played quite well at times, but then at stages we went a bit individual,” coach Neo said.
While Alab Pilipinas is playing its first game in the league, Filipino teams have had a lot of success in the ABL, winning two championships and finishing in second place twice in the six ABL seasons.
Philippines Patriots won the championship in the inaugural ABL season in 2009, and the San Miguel Beermen won in 2013. Neither team plays in the ABL now.
Last season’s Philippines team MX3 Kings were the least successful Filipino team in the ABL, but Alab has assembled a high-profile roster and is expected to be a finals contender.
Sunday’s game tips off at 8.00pm. Slingers fans can watch the game Live on Hub Sports Arena (Starhub Channel 112/205) or on mobile devices via its StarHub Go app.
Article written by Michael Farrell