Get rid of our ASEAN imports already?: Slingers suffers 2nd straight humiliating loss

For the 2nd straight game, the Singapore Slingers suffered a humiliating defeat of 20 points (73-53), this time, to the San Miguel Beermen in front of a near empty Tan Binh stadium that hosts the inaugural ABL Hoops Fest.

This is clearly a festival that Slingers fans won’t be celebrating: It gave the Slingers not only their 3rd straight loss, but their 2nd consecutive blowout loss since the unfolding of the post-Jeffers era.

From a fan’s point-of-view, this is extremely frustrating.

Seeing our home team go downhill, we can’t help but say what we need to say (and yes, the truth hurts):

Since Kyle Jeffers’ departure, this team isn’t just showing signs that it can longer compete this league, but is becoming almost an embarrassment in this league.

The Slingers are becoming an embarrassment not because of how they play, but rather, how they choose to play.

Let me explain myself.

Make no mistake, this is a Slingers team that chooses to be severely undermanned: 1) The team is playing on the road without their 3rd best player and scorer, Wong Wei Long, who is a part-time player, 2) we have the 2 worst ASEAN imports in this league, and 3) we refuse to sign a third import.

1) The team is playing on the road without their 3rd best player and scorer – Wong Wei Long

It doesn’t even make sense to think that our team’s third best player, who incidentally is a local, plays part-time and not on the road. But that’s what the Slingers management actually did.

Kudos to local sensation Wong Wei Long who is having a breakout season and juggling insane NTU workload with playing (semi-)professionally for the Slingers!

But you mean this team is choosing to count on Wong Wei Long to be their 3rd best player and scorer?

Yes, the team might be counting on Wong Wei Long to hit some outside shots like he always does in the Slingers inside-out strategy. But it seems as if Wei Long is the only one in the team capable of executing and hitting the outside shot according to what is planned.

Where in the world are the other guys? Considering that Wei Long doesn’t turn up (save one) for road games, there is little wonder why the Slingers have zero outside threat when playing on the road.

2) We have the 2 worst ASEAN imports in the entire league

…and we are choosing to keep them!

Just wish to say, the Slingers is not a charity organisation. But, keeping Don Dulay and JunJun Cabatu, it appears that the Slingers is the only team that tolerates (and thereby encourages) severe underperformance. Wow! What a great place to work in!

Let’s face it: Don Dulay and JunJun Cabatu are THE 2 worst ASEAN imports in the entire league. I’m almost tempted to say one of the 2 worst, but, man, I realised there is no other way to put it. We have THE 2 worst ASEAN imports in the entire league.

With all due respect to Don Dulay and JunJun Cabatu as players, their moments as ASEAN imports are long gone. Long gone! Play as a local perhaps, but as an import? You kidding me?

Don Dulay, claiming to be a shooter, is 5 for 45 from three-point range. Pathetic 9%! What else does he do? Shoot a mere 29% and jack up just 2 assists per game? Can’t defend anyone from Chris Banchero to Jai Reyes. Fair enough, he is still better than some of our locals. But definitely far from the level of any ASEAN import these days.

Enough is enough, please?

Enough is enough, please?

Next, JunJun Cabatu. 11.5% from three-point range, 29% field goal. Contributes just 6 points and 3 rebounds to the team. He poses no threat to team defences, has slow feet, and comes off the Slingers bench until the recent game. All he does well is shoot free throws?

Pretty sums up what he has been an import

Pretty sums up what he has been doing…as an import

I don’t wish to take a shot at these players, but isn’t the Slingers making a mockery out of themselves and the fans by having these 2 guys as ASEAN imports on their roster? The Slingers rely heavily on three-point shooting, but have our ASEAN imports contribute anything much to our team scoring? What else are they doing that our not-so-good locals can’t do? Little wonder why we are the lowest scoring team in this league. Well, we chose to be.

I’m not the only one who is having this sentiment. Here’s what other fans have to say:

I really do hope the bosses of slingers see this!! Dulay can’t shoot, he can’t drive and he can’t even make any impact in the game!! Look how many times he gave up the ball or the ball got stolen from him!! And let’s not forget the fact that he is a IMPORT!!! Not local player!! What for have this kind of import??? Wasting $$ and wasting a space in the team! Why waste on lousy imports? – Lincoln Shake Yeo

Slingers going to change ASEAN import? No score for both of them. Then why still keep them? This few year Slingers like budget to choose import player. – Ng PL

Well, as much as these players are doing their best, the sad fact is that their best just isn’t enough for this team to remain competitive in this league anymore.

Every team is making adjustments to their ASEAN imports, save the Slingers, to remain relevant and competitive in this league. Can I say, “get rid of our ASEAN imports already”?

The Slingers management need to stop being a mockery by being a charity organisation, and start replacing their ASEAN imports to compete for the sake of their fans.

*Really sorry that this has to be harsh, but I hope this feedback from fans be taken constructively.

3) We refuse to sign a third import

So the Slingers decided to stick with their rule, which I respect(ed), to stick with 2 imports. Yes, we refuse to sign a third import, because we want to develop our locals.

Whoever comes up with that rule might have meant well, but certainly, in this season, haven’t thought about winning.

Let me say it again: We refuse to sign a third import and choose to keep the 2 worst imports in this league on our team. And we want to win. Are you kidding me? Have you heard the Charlotte Bobcats talk about beating the Miami Heat or Oklahoma Thunder, and winning a championship?

It’s simple. If you want to win, you need the pieces to win. If you are playing with a self-imposed handicap of having one less ASEAN import, don’t expect to win the league.

I am actually surprised by the wide range of cheap and good ASEAN imports selection available, but the Slingers decided to squander their money on Dulay and Cabatu, and insist on staying with these 2 guys even when they aren’t producing what ASEAN imports are supposed to produce.

Rules have to be broken when dire circumstances demand it. This team has to throw this ridiculous rule of signing only 4 imports out of the window.

Remember the 2010/2011 season won by the Chang Thailand Slammers?

A recent chat with ex-Slammer captain and Thai sharpshooter Piyapong Piroon revealed his interest in playing for the Slingers team. He asked the to try out for the team, saying “I just need round trip ticket and some money for food and room”. But the Slingers rejected him by insisting to stoically maintaining their unspoken rule of signing just 2 ASEAN imports.

In Piyapong, we are talking about an ex-ABL champion, a sharpshooter who has been there and done that, shooting 43% from the field and 42% from three-point range. This makes the guy a perfect fit into Slingers inside-out offensive strategy. If Slingers can enlist the sharpshooting of Piyapong on the outside, things for Jones-Jennings and Singleton would definitely get much easier. And I’m sure Piyapong will contribute to the team more than just his shooting.

Piyapong Piroon - the sharpshooter that led Slammers to the championship

Piyapong Piroon – the sharpshooter that led Slammers to the championship

Piyapong’s services are still available, and he is still keen to play for the team, if only the Slingers will stop sticking to an unspoken rule that is doing nothing but destroying the track-record of the franchise.

There are few things Slingers must do at this junction: First and foremost, the Slingers need to start respecting the fans who care and want to see their team compete. To do so, the Slingers can add a 3rd ASEAN import with Piyapong or some other sharpshooter that can make an immediate contribution to the team (considering Wei Long’s partial absence), or they can replace severely under-performing Don Dulay and JunJun Cabatu with 2 players that can hold the helm against the likes of Justin Melton, Chris Banchero, John Smith, Moala Tautuaa, Jai Reyes etc.

As history has taught us well, we don’t need to wait till we lose 7 games to do this.

Please stop choosing to lose…

-Photo by ABL-


One thought on “Get rid of our ASEAN imports already?: Slingers suffers 2nd straight humiliating loss

  1. The Mouse says:

    From my observation, most teams in the ABL seem to be TOO dependent on the imports — American or ASEAN. Not much input from local talents…which is the opposite of San Miguel. SM don’t reply on their import for shooting, just for rebounding and blocks while the local fires most of the shots (The US imports of SMB are bad shooters esp on freethrow). This is where most teams should improve: team play.

    My suggestion: work on basketball fundamentals and chemistry/team play

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