The Singapore Slingers swept past a visiting Satria Muda Britama – who really were just visiting – with a 87-68 win.
Satria Muda Britama never seemed to like playing at the Singapore Indoor Stadium and it showed even prior to the game start, when the teams were practicing and having shots at the basket during warm up. Nakiea Miller was already a figure of stressed up – the only player with his MP3 still on him when the team was out and shooting – and started to look at the crowd shouting “Bring the f**k out of me” and “You know what, I gonna show you who the f**k I am”. His antics really made Hartman – another perennial irritant – look like a saint standing next to a religious figure.
As the game tip-off, the Slingers were made to defence almost immediately but once Al-V scored the 1st of his 10 points, there was no looking back for the Slingers – who never relinquish their lead throughout the game.
Ending the 1st Quarter with a 3 point lead, the Slingers showed no signs of stopping when they continue to down baskets by the truckload, eventually stretching the lead to a further point at 35-31. However, what was important was that in the 2nd Quarter itself, Faisal was already on 4 fouls and was benched by the SM Coach, while Hartman and Miller seemed to be missing more shots than bagging them. In addition, the much touted Mario Wusayang was looking out of sorts with his 3 pointers hitting the rims on more occasions than it actually went in.
It was after the half-time break where the Slingers showed their Indon counterparts how to play ball – with local cagers Desmond Oh, Hong Wei Jian and Michael Wong coming on to disrupt the visitors’ game. And when ‘D-Glove’ did a lay-up for his 1st points of the night, the Indons were made to sweat hard for their next point as Al-V went on with steal off Christian Sitepu and complete his 10 point haul of the night. Al-V eventually was fouled out with 3:26 on the clock and Wong Wei Long – despite some nervousness and mis-passed – filled in the role quite comfortably.
And in a bid to rest players, and at the same time, showed how easy this victory was for the Slingers, Coach Frank Arsego placed in 5 local cagers into the fray, attacked the left of the Indon’s court and managed to hold the game for a 19 point victory.
Local Cagers Raise Up the Standard
Players like Hong Wei Jian showed great tenacity throughout the game as he played like a man possessed and getting 11 points was a testimony to the game that he had against the Indons. Not to be outshined, Desmond Oh also converted 2 out of his his 3 shots and got 1 free throw to round off with 5 points whilst ‘super-sub’ Steven Khoo gets 2 after being in the court for only 0:12 seconds.
However, special mention is reserved for Wong Wei Long – who played 8:31 – and despite only having 1 shot at the basket, showed that he can fill in the gap created by Al-V should the need arises, which further shows the strengths of the bench.
Looking at this performance, it seemed that Game 3 is a big ‘IF’ now and with the Patriots also blowing the Dragons at the same time, probably the 1st ABL Finals would be featuring the BEST Home Team vs the BEST Away Team.