It was a thrilling fourth quarter. Both teams were neck-to-neck. The game was tied at 51 apiece and the game went into overtime. Then, in overtime, the Singapore Slingers witnessed a momentuous collapse and lost their 2nd game on the road to the Chang Thailand Slammers.
DeAndre Thomas from the Slammers came up big for his tam with 27 points and 10 boards, while Kenneth Walker followed suit with 16 and 9.
The Slingers started the game on a defensive high, limiting the Slammers to just 1 point in the 1st 4 minutes. In that stretch alone, Donald Little had 2 blocks and 1 steal. However, he picked up 2 fouls and had to sit the quarter.
The Slingers were up 8-1, but in the Slammers would answer back on a 7-zip run to tie the score at 8 apiece. The quarter would end shortly with both teams tied at 10-10.
In the 2nd quarter, the Slingers continued to struggle at the offensive end, with Donald Little sitting out. Boyet Bautista checked into the game and provided a spark for the Slammers. On one stretch, he scored 7 points to put the Slammers up 23-15. Fortunately for the Slingers, Donald Little checked in to stop the damage. The half ended with the Slammers up 25-21.
Once again, the Slingers failed to contain DeAndre Thomas who scored 11 first half points. This was followed closely by Walker’s and Bautista’s 7. For the Slingers, Donald Dulay and Desmond Oh led the team with 6 points and 5 points respectively. Slingers scorer, Louis Graham continued to struggle on his shooting, going 2/10 from the field with a dismal 4 points. Fortunately he made up for it with 10 rebounds. Overall, the Slingers had a poor shooting half, hitting only 8 of their 31 field goals.
The 2nd half started with both team setting out to make up for the poor offensive half. Desmond Oh of the Slingers caught the hot hand, hitting a layup shot, followed by a three-pointer to cut the Slammers lead 31-30. But there was no stopping DeAndre Thomas. The Slammers big man answered every attempt of a Slingers comeback to keep the Slammers on top. The 3rd quarter ended with the home team up 43-40.
The start of the 4th quarter was more or less the same, with teams exchanging more misses than baskets. The score was tied 45-42 until Wong Wei Long stole the ball from Mana Jantuma and went for a fast-break lay-up. Then, Louis Graham hit a jumper to regain the Slingers lead with 6 minutes left to go. But Slammers’ Walker would answer back a few possessions with an inside alley-opp AND 1 dunk on Wei Long to put the Slammers back up 47-46 with 4 40 left.
The Slingers regained the lead once again from Lou G’s layup from Wei Long assist with 3 and half minutes left. Wei Long then hit 1 or 2 foul shots to put his team up 49-47.
But the tables would turn once again. Chester Tolomia hit a big three that put the Slammers up 50-49 with half a minute to go. And Don Dulay committed a costly turnover which sent DeAndre Thomas to the foul line on the opposite end. Thomas converted 1 of 2 to put the Slammers up 51-49 with just 37 left.
Wei Long then drew a quick foul on Bautista just 3 seconds into the inbound. He was sent to the line where he calmly converted both of his free-throws to tie the game back at 51.
Then, it was Louis Graham and Donald Little who came up with key blocks to send the game into this ABL season’s second overtime.
The Slammers drew first blood in overtime with 3 points from DeAndre Thomas. After a few free-throw exchanges, Vaughn Canta nailed a corner three to put the Slingers up 56-55. Canta had 10 points in the game.
But that would be all the Slingers could manage in overtime. After Donald Little fouled out of the game with 2 minutes left, the Slammers big men started to dominate the game. This was seen almost immediately when Thomas rebounded Tolomia’s miss for a three-point put back. Then, it was Kenneth Walker who drew another foul-in with 40 secs to go. After he hit the foul shot, the Slammers went up 61-56.
The game would end 66-56 Slammers.
The Slingers maintained their stifling defence in this game, but their woes came from the offensive end. Overall, the Slingers hit only 31% of their shots from the field. Little had his worst game with only 4 points and 7 boards. Graham was no better, as he struggled the entire night to find his shot. He finished with 12 points and 16 boards on 6/18 shooting. It’s high-time Lou G finds his shot, because the Slingers need him to score.
Dulay also struggled, missing all 5 of his three-point shots, despite scoring 12 points. Local boys Desmond Oh and Wong Wei Long scored 10 and 8 points respectively.
Now the Slingers have to regroup if they want to win their match-up with the current league-leaders, the Philippines Patriots next weekend. And this sure has to start on the offensive end.
-Photo by Francis Espeleta and Chalinee Thirasupa-