The Singapore Slingers climbed back from a game one defeat to even the 2019 ASEAN Basketball League (ABL) Finals at one game apiece with a 77-57 victory over the BTN CLS Knights.
Wanting to keep away from going down two games to the CLS Knights on their home floor in the ABL Finals, the Singapore Slingers started off game two with their signature defensive intensity, successfully building a 21-9 advantage at the end of the opening quarter. Even without the early services of world import Jerran Young, the home side was able to force the visitors into six turnovers early on.
Additionally, Singapore was able to further extend its lead thanks to long-range conversions from local players Ng Han Bin and Desmond Oh. However, the Knights fought back and cut their deficit to 12 points following consecutive three-point baskets from Maxie Esho. The second quarter saw the two teams exchange baskets frequently, and by the time the halftime buzzer rang, the Slingers held onto a 40-30 lead.
The Slingers continued hounding the Knights with their pesky defense coming out of the break and limited the visitors to just three points in the first five minutes, but the Surabaya-based team eventually found their mark to go on a 7-0 run which cut the Singapore lead to 10 points with 1:48 remaining in the period. The home-side responded with five quick points from Oh and Young to push its lead back to 15, however, the Knights would score the final two baskets of the period to go into the fourth quarter down 57-46.
Similar to the start of the second half, the visitors opened the final period cold from the field and finally scored their first basket nearly six minutes in. By that point, the Knights were already down by an unrecoverable 16 points before ultimately falling 77-57 to the Slingers.
For the game, the league’s newest World Import MVP Xavier Alexander put on a show in front of his home crowd, finishing with a Swiss Army knife of a performance which included 16 points, seven rebounds, nine assists, seven steals, and five blocks. Jerran Young, who did not check into the game until late in the first half, added 14 points. Led by Ng’s four triples, the Slingers also received big contributions from their locals, who combined for 32 points.
The Knights only had two players score in double figures, with Maxie Esho’s 12 and Doug Herring’s 18. The pair also combined for 10 of their team’s 20 total turnovers, which helped lead to a 23-8 disparity in fast break points.
The best-of-five series will move to Surabaya May 8 at the GOR Basket Kertajaya.
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