Singapore 20th March 2016
With a shot at the buzzer, the Singapore Slingers extended their season and sent the ABL Finals Series back to Malaysia, setting up one of the greatest game finishes and series in ASEAN Basketball League Finals history.
Behind the heroics of two time ABL MVP Wong Wei Long, the Singapore Slingers refused to give up the ASEAN Basketball League championship on their home court, as they defeated the Malaysia Dragons, 75-73.
By virtue of the victory, the series shifts back to Kuala Lumpur for a deciding Game 5.
Wong was the story of the fourth quarter, as the veteran saved his best for what could have been the final quarter of the Slingers’ season. He poured in all eight of his points in the fourth quarter, which came in the form of two booming triples and a long jumper at the buzzer. That last shot led to him being mobbed by his teammates on the floor as the crowd celebrated in the stands.
Game 4 was a heavyweight battle, with both teams absolutely leaving it all on the court. During the 4th quarter, Dragons import Calvin Godfrey was caught in a loose ball battle, and when the call went his way he lay on the floor in absolute exhaustion. Both squads had played two games in three days, and the physical toll was evident as the game entered into the crucial stages of the fourth quarter. The imports cancelled each other out: Justin Howard bounced back from a subpar Game 3 performance with a game high 31 points and 13 rebounds. Calvin Godfrey countered with a 25 point, 15 rebound, and six block performance.
The Dragons had their chances, but Matthew Wright and Reggie Johnson missed some shots in the final two minutes that could have given the Dragons the lead or tie the game, but it was the Slingers who had the ball with less then 19 seconds to play and the chance to win Game 4. It was truly a battle of wills, as both sides were visibly exhausted and throwing up shots they hoped would fall in.
In the end though, the Slingers had just enough to send the series to a Game Five. The MABA Stadium in Kuala Lumpur will definitely be rocking, as the Dragons look to win the championship on their home floor, but the Slingers have other ideas as they had a very good record away from home during the regular season and won Game 1 of the Finals on the Dragons home court.
Game 5 is scheduled for 2:30 PM in what will definitely be a classic encounter.
The Slingers stood together at center court of the OCBC Arena, arms hanging on each other for support. Yet their faces showed not one tinge of regret nor disappointment. All they could feel was relief, happiness and joy.
One last time they stood together on their home court, defiant against the odds.
2015-16 ABL Final Series
Saturday 26th March 2016
MABA Stadium, Kuala Lumpur