After an previous decision of wrapping up this blog and calling it a day, we have decided that we cannot but return to blogging, for the love of our home team, the Singapore Slingers, which we have been supporting for the past 5 years!
Our blog has faced real adversity, just as our favourite team has! We aren’t concerned about dwindling readership or anything like that, but our chief concern is the direction and future of our beloved team – a waning team that has indeed struggled to survive in a surging league. For that, we decided to return to our post, and do what we have been doing, even before some of the managerial staff of the Slingers came onboard the team, which is giving the fans and the stands a real voice on the Singapore Slingers, the Singapore Slingers and the Singapore Slingers.
It is the 2013 season! The Slingers has played 3 games. They won the 1st and lost the next 2; won a home game, and then lost on the road and back at home. You might ask, what’s the cause of alarm? It’s only 3 games.
But mark our words, we have seen enough to get a picture of our team for the rest of the season. And that picture isn’t a really good one!
In the last 3 games, this team has shot 211 field goals, and made only 69. That’s 32.7%, worst in the league. No surprise, the team is averaging 58.3 points per game, again worst in the league.
Stats don’t lie, and with these two statistics, it’s enough to conclude that the Slingers are the worst offensive team in ABL. Period.
What’s wrong exactly with the Slingers offense? Let’s do some detailed breakdown.
The ABL is an import-driven league. Yes, as columnist and commenter, Sean Farquhar, has correctly pointed out in his article, that two quality imports no longer guarantee playoff success in the ABL, he made his observation solely on one game. Guess what? He is partially right! Two quality international imports don’t, but 5 quality imports do! Just look at the Saigon Heat, with probably the thinnest bench in the league! With Dior Lowhorn, David Palmer, Philip Morrison, Jai Reyes and Karl Dehesa, they have gotten things figured out! Who cares if Vietnam is the positioned the worst of all the nations in Southeast Asian Basketball? They are up 3-1, best in this league. They have defeated the Warriors and the Beermen! Well, that’s a big statement.
“We need more rebounding”, so in comes Rashad Jones-Jennings – a below-average scorer in the ABL – for Slingers only deadly offensive weapon Louis Graham. Slingers retain Donald Dulay and swapped Vaughn Canta for JunJun Cabatu. And Slingers say, “This is our year!” Are you kidding me?
No offense to all these players! Mr Jones-Jennings is a freak rebounder, let’s face it. But scoring-wise, he is 15/51 from the field! A incredibly dismal 29%! Just for your information, Wong Wei Long had an off-night yesterday when the Slingers played the Warriors at home (which I thought was terrible enough with 3/13 shooting), but even he managed 10 points.
Rashad Jones-Jennings? 9. Nine.
Are you kidding me? A local (part-time) player scoring more than an international import with an offensive strategy aimed at feeding Jones-Jennings the ball in the low post. For the entire night, Jones-Jennings showed nothing more than poor hands underneath the basket, and nothing more than a not-so-accurate hookshot (that’s all he has in his arsenal). Let’s face it, if the Slingers second import is not going to score more than 10 points, the team is not going to win!
Next, Coach Neo inserted never-used rookie player #7 Wu Qingde into the game at the 3 spot in place of JunJun Cabatu, Lim Sheng Yu and Ng Hanbin. The rookie went on to score 5 points on 2/5 shooting. Kudos to Wu Qingde who was the only bright spot, apart from Jeffers in the game! That dude is a workhorse, and certainly deserves more playing time!
5 points, frankly speaking, isn’t a lot for a local to score, but it was 2 points more than Slingers ASEAN import JunJun Cabatu and Don Dulay combined. JunJun had 0 points and Dulay had 3. Can you believe this? The Slingers are paying 2 ASEAN imports (who earn much more than a rookie) and they were scoring less than a guy who hasn’t even graduated from polytechnic?
Let’s face it, again! Don Dulay and JunJun Cabatu, with all due respect to them, are finished in this league as ASEAN imports. Don Dulay to Mario Wuysang wasn’t even a comparison, let alone to John Smith or Jerrick Canada. And the Warriors are missing Stanley Pringle. JunJun Cabatu? He is a decent substitute, but if the Slingers are looking for him to do the scoring, they should better think twice. JunJun looks seriously out of shape for the season. He was benched for the reason that he couldn’t keep up with the Warriors Christian Sitepu, who was previously a Center. JunJun as a forward was just shorter and slower than Sitepu, and wasn’t in the shape to defend a Warriors local. Not to mentioned, he hasn’t been much better than Jones-Jennings shooting just 9/28 from the field.
Whose fault, is it?
Yes, we can partially put the blame on our Slingers local players. Desmond Oh was 1/8, Wong Wei Long was 3/13. But what about the imports? Except for Kyle Jeffers, this team needs a serious reboot.
But what is our dear basketball scout doing? With all the talent there is out there, our basketball scout settled with Donald Dulay and JunJun Cabatu as imports, and expect to compete against Jai Reyes, Philip Morrison and Karl Dehesa, John Smith, Jerrick Canada and Richard Smith, Chris Bancherro, Leo Avenido and gang, Moata Tautaa, Patrick Cabahug and Mark Jeffries?
Let’s face it!
I’m not pouring cold water over the team.
The season has just started, but for the Singapore Slingers, it’s already finished!