Last year’s bottom team Formosa Dreamers pull out a season-opening 77-73 win over perennial playoff contenders Singapore Slingers.
The Slingers’ new import Jerran Young showed out with high-flying dunks, while teammate Larry Liew swished in a long three to close the first quarter tied at 19, but the Dreamers’ new faces William Artino and Tevin Glass heated up in the second quarter. Glass already recorded 18 points and 7 boards by half time to lead his team to a 37 to 33 edge.
Meanwhile, the home team’s poor shooting from the field (11/34) caused them to falter early. They shot better in the third quarter, however, an improved and more experienced Dreamers calmly respond to every basket Slingers made and steadily maintained their small lead.
Singapore’s new import John Fields made his presence felt on both side early of the fourth quarter, while teammate Xavier Alexander cut the deficit to one after scoring and assisting at the 4:40 mark, before Delvin Goh made sure the Slingers took the lead on the following possession.
Artino then got an offensive basket and made a crucial basket down low to take back the lead for the Dreamers in the last 36 seconds. Shih Nien Chen then extended the lead further by swishing in two crucial free throws.
Glass put up impressive numbers in his debut with Dreamers, finishing the game 24 points and 10 rebounds, but it was Artino’s do-it-all crucial go-ahead basket to cap his 16-point, 13-rebound, 3-block performance that ensured the victory.
Taiwanese national team veteran Tien Lei’s inside presence, together with Artino, had also been a factor in slowing down Singapore’s John Fields in the paint.
Slingers’ Alexander contributed another all-around performance, filling up the stat sheet with 24 points, 11 boards, six assists, and six steals. His defensive presence and quick hands gave Slingers plenty of fast break opportunities down the stretch. Young added 20 points in the loss.
The Dreamers and Slingers will play their second game in three days, with the former set to play against Hong Kong Eastern, and Singapore will travel to Bangkok to play against the Mono Vampire squad who eliminated them during last season’s playoffs.