The CLS Knights Indonesia were very promising prior to the start of the 2017-2018 ABL season, and their big win against the Formosa Dreamers during their debut was enough to give regional fans high expectations for some big time results from the newly joined team. However, the unexpected injury of Duke Crews and his unsuitable replacements proved enough to destroy their hopeful good season. They have already being ruled out for this season’s playoff after their most recent loss to the Saigon Heat.
During the last match between the two teams in Surabaya midway through January, the visiting Singapore Slingers once again performed in a solid manner that gave them a clean 3-0 record against the Indonesian team. It was the hot-shooting Ng Han Bin that was all business from beyond the arc, nailing in a total of five three-pointers that punished the Knights’ terrible outside defense.
While his fellow teammate Xavier Alexander once again showed his all-around performance in arguably the hottest gym in the league, being very aggressive all night long, he flirted with another triple-double and came just three rebounds and two assists shy.
Although the season might be over for the CLS Knights, this doesn’t mean they are not going to play hard during this away game. In fact, they are expected to play as tough as possible in order to gain back their reputation and repay their passionate fans.
Key Individual Match-Up(s)
Both coaches are very well-known for their confidence in their local players, especially coach Neo Beng Siang who is constantly receiving satisfying numbers from his fellow Singaporeans. Han Bin will most probably be playing his usual role as a 3-and-D player for his team, while Delvin Goh is also looking forward to having another great performance to get himself prepared for the playoffs. Perhaps he could deliver another jaw-dropping big SLAM at OCBC Arena to be witnessed by his home crowd.
Coach Koko Nugruho is no stranger to playing his bench players often, even during crucial fourth quarter minutes. Those plays and substitutions may seem questionable at times, but it should have positive effects on the locals in the long-term. There should be a period of time where both teams play their local players entirely, or at least in a 4-vs-4 setting led by their respective import.
Chris Charles VS Brian Williams
Chris Charles, the two-time ABL Defensive Player of the Year is still dominating in the painted area, despite turning 37-years old not long ago. His experience and length has been maximized by his coaches, especially at the defensive end, where he is still a reliable rim protector averaging three blocks per game.
On the other hand, Brian Williams is another tough man to stop when he gets into his sweet spots down low. His gigantic size and crafty ball handling skills can be a huge threat to almost every team in the league, except the Slingers. They seem to have effective methods that can slow down this Brooklyn native, so it’s the final chance for him to put up an exceptional double-double against the veterans of Singapore.