We caught up with ex-Slinger Al-Vergara, who currently dons the Saigon Heat jersey in the ASEAN Basketball League. The veteran guard, who still continues to enjoy a large fan-base in the sunny island of Singapore, took time off to answer a few questions that Slingers Nation have:
Slingers Nation (SN): Hi Al, how did you feel entering the Singapore Indoor Stadium again, this time as an opposite player with the Saigon Heat?
Al-Vergara (AV): I feel like I was back to my homecourt again and I always remember the time when I was playing with the Slingers during my time with them.
SN: You saw the Slingers’ roster for this season. Who is the standout player for you in the team this year?
AV: Wei Long and Kyle (Jeffers)
SN: Wong Wei Long, who understudied you during your time in the Slingers, had a standout game against Saigon on Sunday, getting 29 points for the night. Are you surprised by his performance?
AV: No, I am not surprised. I know he can do that (play well) every game. Even some locals also can play well, just that they need longer playing time (which they are not getting). They do not have the chance currently.
SN: Who do you think is the standout local for the Slingers this season?
AV: I will still say it’s Wei Long because he gets better after every game.
SN: If given the chance, would you come back to the Slingers to play for them?
AV: Yes, I want to cause I love the fans and I feel that my team mates are like my brother everytime I meet them. But I dun think that (joining Slingers) will happen.
SN: Any words for your fans out there? We can hear the loudest cheer still reserved for you in the Stadium on Sunday.
AV: I am happy when I heard you (the fans) shouting my name. Some people cheered and some also shouted “Al Viagra”. But I am very happy cos I saw 1 fan still wear my jersey (Slingers) to watch the game on Sunday. I feel like I am still welcome to the Slingers.
Al-Vergara will definitely live on in most Slingers fans who had watched him ply his trade in the 1st 2 season of the ABL with the team. His dedication, vision and leadership on court makes him a fan favourite, alongside with Kyle Jeffers and Leo Avenido.
We wish Al all the best in his career with Saigon Heat and certainly hope to see him don the Slingers jersey again.
Photo Credits: Francis Espeleta