More than a month after signing with the Singapore Slingers, Marcus Elliott and new teammate Xavier Alexander spoke out about teaming up, being voted into the ASEAN Basketball League’s (ABL) All-Time 10, and the new season.
There are only two players in ABL history to have recorded more than 1,800 points, 500 rebounds, and 500 assists, with at least six triple doubles: Xavier Alexander and Marcus Elliott. In addition to the impressive career statistics, each has also has been awarded as World Import MVP and named as a one of the league’s ten greatest players of all-time.
The facts not only show how well-rounded the two have been throughout their ABL careers, but also depict the potential in the powerful combination that is ready to take the league by storm this upcoming season.
“It’s definitely dedicated to my hard work, perseverance and relentlessness, and to stand up here with nine other guys, I feel like I’ve put the same work in and it’s definitely an honor,” Alexander said after receiving his ABL All-Time 10 award in Manila.
While Elliott was unable to attend the press conference, the 6-foot-3 combo guard communicated to ASEAN Sports his thoughts towards being named for the award: “All glory to God. I’m grateful and appreciative that the work I have put in has been recognized by my peers and those who support and love to watch the game.”
But for Alexander, despite all of the individual accomplishments, there is still one crucial thing missing from his already exceptional career in Southeast Asia, where he is currently the all-time leader in points, assists, steals, and triple doubles; one which he just short of achieving thrice.
The ABL crown.
“To be honest, at this point in my career, there is only one goal for me: the ABL title,” Alexander answered when asked about his goal for the upcoming season. “It’s not just to make the finals, I want the championship. That’s what I’m working for and that’s why I’m going back.”
The reigning World Import MVP also expressed his excitement on pairing up with one of the players who contributed significantly to one of his three Finals heartbreaks.
“In my five years in Singapore, I haven’t played with anybody of Marcus Elliott’s caliber,” admitted the 6-foot-5 forward. “I’m really excited to be able to get back and get started with him. I’m looking forward to him being a part of our team and hopefully he can help get us the title we’ve been chasing for years.”
Elliott reciprocated the respect for the X-man and the Slingers: “I already know what to expect playing with Xavier Alexander. He’s an extreme competitor who wants to win at all costs. He brings so much to the table on the court [and] he can do everything.”
“I’m looking forward to adding to the ground work that’s already been laid here in Singapore,” continued the 2017 ABL World Import MVP. “We have a great core of guys who are winners.”
With regard to fitting playing styles, there have been fan concerns that two ball-dominant players may cause chemistry issues. But it’s worth noting that Alexander had mostly been deployed as a defensive wing stopper and never averaged more than two assists per game before coming to the Lion City, where head coach Neo Beng Siang made the decision to run the offense through him as a point forward.
And while it did help Alexander reach his full potential as an excellent ball-handler and distributor with great court vision, in addition to his high basketball IQ and ability to attack the rim, he seems to have no problem sharing the heavy lifting with his new teammate.
“I can play one to four [positions] while he can play one to three. He will help us to be a little bit more versatile and a lot more explosive on the offensive end. I definitely think we have a chance to be the strongest backcourt.”
The Singapore Slingers, with its world import cast of the Alexander-Elliott duo and former Mono Vampire Anthony McClain, will start their 10th ABL season December 15 with an away game against San Miguel Alab Pilipinas.
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