The Singapore Slingers set a new ASEAN Basketball League (ABL) record for the largest winning margin in a playoff game after winning 101-70, against Hong Kong Eastern in Game 1 of the semifinals.
Given the neck-and-neck battles between these two rivalries in the past, this game turned out to have an unexpected result- a complete dominance by the home squad in almost every facet including scoring, shooting efficiency, rebounding, passing, and bench contribution.
After the first two quarters, the Slingers were already leading by 29 points with their outstanding ball movement (16 assists), and effectiveness especially from beyond the arc after making seven threes out of 10 attempts, which isn’t exactly something they are known for.
Their excellent defense also forced Hong Kong to commit 15 turnovers and shoot a measly 29 percent from the field.
Eastern’s best scorer in previous games, O’Darien Bassett, was limited to without a made field goal in the first half and finished with only nine points on three-for-15 shooting.
Hong Kong played much better in the second half, but it seemed impossible for the Slingers to make any costly mistake that would let their opponents get back into the game and eventually the visitors found themselves on the wrong end of a new ABL record.
Four out of five starters for the Slingers reached double figures: John Fields had 29 points, 14 rebounds, and two blocks, and Xavier Alexander put in 16 points, 11 assists, and two steals, as both recorded a double-doubles, while Jerran Young and Delvin Goh (nine rebounds, six assists) scored 16 and 15 points, respectively.
Ng Han Bin (nine points) and Larry Liew (11 markers) were big factors for the two-time ABL runners-up off the bench with six threes combined.
On the Hong Kong side, Michael Holyfield was the best player with 19 points, 17 rebounds and four blocks on 66 percent shooting. The only other Eastern player to record double figures was Marcus Elliot (19 points), but also shared a disappointing night with Bassett after going five-for-21.
Game 2 will take place on next Wednesday- April 17th at Southorn Stadium in Wanchai, Hong Kong.
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