The BTN CLS Knights’ first playoff road win could not come at a better time as they blew out the Singapore Slingers, 67-86, at the OCBC Arena to take Game 1 of the ASEAN Basketball League (ABL) Finals.
CLS started the game strong with an 8-0 run to force a quick timeout from coach Neo Beng Siang. The home squad then quickly got back on track, soon evened the score and down by only one at the half.
However, an off-shooting night and foul trouble from imports John Fields and Xavier Alexander, and with Jerran Young having to leave the game early with a lrg injury resulted in the Slingers being dominated by the visitors in the second half (outscored 48 to 30) and eventually dropped before the Indonesian club.
CLS’ imports were extremely efficient in this game, each shooting over 50 percent from the field.
Maxie Esho led all scorers with 24 points plus eight rebounds and two steals. Darryl Watkins added a double-double of 23 and 12 to go along with four steals, while Douglas Herring contributed an all-around performance with 17 markers, six boards, six dimes and two steals.
Without Wong Wei Long who is out with a facial injury suffered in the previous game, the only other Knight in double-figure was Brandon Jawato (15 points, six rebounds, five assists).
On the home team’s side, the Xavier Alexander struggled for most of the game from inside the paint but still finished with 19 points, eight rebounds and seven assists.
John Fields had another double-double of 19 and 13 and three blocks but also committed seven costly turnovers. Delvin Goh was arguably the brightest spot on the floor for the two-time ABL runners-up with 13 points on 71 percent shooting, five boards and three blocks.
Both teams will have one day to rest before going back at it for the second game of the best-of-five series on Sunday at the OCBC Arena.
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