KCC Jeonju Egis took down resilient hosts Singapore Slingers in the Merlion Cup semifinals for third place today at OCBC Arena, 78-68.
The Korean club opened up the scoring with a barrage of three-pointers, with both Song Chang Young and import Charles Rhodes hitting two threes each in the first five minutes of the game, while the Slingers relied heavily on import Xavier Alexander, who put in six of their 12 total points in the opening quarter.
The second half opened with a Ryan Wright dunk, which seemed to invigorate the Slingers’ Canadian import, leading to 10 points in the quarter alone with a bevy of dunks and put-backs. On the other side, American import Charles Rhodes and guard Park Kyungsang had already amassed 15 and 11 markers for KCC respectively, helping their team to gain an eight-point advantage going into the half.
Singapore tried to rally back in the third quarter with 13 combined points from their imports, but they struggled to contain KCC from the beyond the arc. Filipino guard hit a three pointer to start the final quarter, but the Korean team’s ball movement and ability to shoot from outside really gave the Slingers defense a hard time in keeping up.
Korean guards Kim Jihoo and Park Kyungsang continued to torment the home team in the final quarter, each ending up with 18 points, matching Rhodes’ output. Song Chang Young added 14 points of his own.
Xavier Alexander totaled with 15 points after struggling and going scoreless in the final quarter, while Ryan Wright had 17 points and 13 rebounds. Local big man Delvin Goh chipped in with 11 points and five rebounds. Ng Hanbin had a mini-run of his own late in the game, hitting two long bombs, a long two, plus a steal for a breakaway layup to string together 10-straight points, but the game had already been decided by then.
The Slingers will look to regroup before the start of the next ASEAN Basketball League season, where they will look to get a crack at a third-straight finals appearance.