The Singapore Slingers swept their season series against the Westports Malaysia Dragons in the ASEAN Basketball League (ABL) by putting in a strong second half display to come away with the 88-73 road victory.
The Dragons, fighting to keep their playoffs qualification hopes alive, started the game well by hitting four three-pointers in the first quarter. They kept up their scoring in the second quarter with locals Chin Cheng Wah, Yek Liang Chuan, and Jonathan Wong scoring key baskets to extend the lead to 37-31 at the half.
The third quarter saw the Slingers ramp up their intensity on defense as the home team began to struggle with turnovers and allowed their rivals to creep back in the game through key three-pointers made by Larry Liew, giving the Slingers the lead for good with three minutes remaining in the third quarter.
The second half proved to be a nightmare for the Dragons as they had no answers for a revitalized Slingers squad who went on a 23-0 run across both quarters to build the lead to as high as 22 in the final period.
It was a landmark game for the Slingers’ resident import Xavier Alexander, who scored his 2000th career point in the league as he led the Slingers in scoring with 25 points.
Meanwhile, fellow imports Jerran Young contributed 23 points, and John Fields logged 17 points and 13 rebounds.
Local shooter Larry Liew delivered a season high 12 points, with four three pointers made which were instrumental in Slinger’s strong second-half run.
The Dragons’ top performers were Winston Shephard and Nnanna Egwu, who both scored 20 points. They must now win both upcoming matchups against Mono Vampire if they have any chance of staying alive in the playoff race.
The Slingers will look to further cement home court advantage in the playoffs as they next face the Saigon Heat on the road on the 17th of March, while the Dragons next face Mono Vampire on the same say in a must-win game to keep their playoffs hopes alive.
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