“Finally feeling a bit loose.”
Filipino-Canadian guard AJ Mandani found his touch in the Singapore Slingers’ road win as they tormented Tanduay Alab Pilipinas, 97-83. It was a rematch of sorts as both teams met during last season’s semifinals series of the ASEAN Basketball League (ABL).
The 5’11” point guard, who most recently played in the Thailand Basketball League (TBL) and is a six-year Philippine Basketball Association (PBA) veteran himself, felt pretty comfortable playing against familiar faces and fans in the Philippines.
After having forgettable outings in his first two games where he averaged a paltry 3.5 points, Mandani finally made ample contributions of 17 points, four assists and three steals while shooting 44% in their win against the Filipino team on their home soil.
“It felt really good to see the ball go in and to be playing back home infront of my family and friends. The atmosphere was amazing,” said Mandani. “My coaches and teammates showed complete confidence in me as I was still getting loose and adjusted to the team’s chemistry. I’m happy to pay them back with a solid game. We’re nowhere close to where we want to be as a team yet and I’m really excited to see when we start playing at our full potential.”
The Slingers’ lone heritage import will try to keep the momentum going for him moving forward as he will continue to be relied on as the primary play-maker for the Singapore squad, who lost two-time ABL local MVP Wong Wei Long when he opted out of playing in the league this season to focus on his business ventures.
The Slingers will continue playing on the road as they visit Mono Vampire Basketball Club on December 6 in Bangkok, Thailand.