Ho Chi Minh City, Saigon: 24th March 2018
The Singapore Slingers swept their season series against the Saigon Heat and locked up the fifth spot in the elimination round with a 97-77 victory on the road.
It was almost the exact copy of the last game between Singapore and Saigon as their first meeting ended with the Slingers getting a 94-76 victory. With their second win against the Heat, Singapore finished the elimination round with a 12-8 record while Saigon dropped to 10-10.
Both teams will now await the result of the final three games of the regular season before their find out who they will be facing in the playoffs.
With Chris Charles being in foul trouble for much of the game, it was Xavier Alexander who led Singapore in the contest with 38 points, one shy of his career high. The talented wingman also added 14 rebounds and seven assists to his tally.
After being down by three points at the end of the first quarter, 28-25, Alexander led a Singaporean uprising as he scored 12 markers in the second period to grab a 52-45 advantage at the half. The Slingers stretched their lead to double-digits early in the third quarter and led by as much as 23 points in the game.
Aside from getting another win under their belts, what’s import for the Slingers is the confidence they would be bringing into the playoffs. Their opponents would have home court advantage but the Singapore team has proven time and again that they can win on the road as they finished the regular season with a 7-3 away record this season.
Even if Charles only played 25 minutes in the game, he was still able to pick up another monster double-double with 24 points and 19 rebounds. AJ Mandani and Ng Hanbin also scored in double digits for the Slingers as they combined for 21 points. Delvin Goh flew into Saigon late last night to join the team and made an impact when he hit the floor with 2 big blocks and a powerful baseline dunk that lifted the squad.
Like their first meeting, Singapore lorded it over the Heat inside the shaded area with a 47-25 edge in rebounding and a 52-36 lead in points in the paint.
The Slingers will now need to wait on the final few regular season games tomorrow and next Wednesday before they know who there QF opponent will be.
Singapore Slingers Stats Leaders:
Xavier Alexander: 38pts, 14rebs & 7 assists
Chris Charles: 24pts & 19rebs
Ng Han Bin: 11pts & 3rebs
AJ Mandani: 10pts & 1reb
Delvin Goh: 6pts, 5rebs, 2 blocks
Russel Low: 6pts, 2rebs & 2 assists