No Adams. No problem.
Without their high-flying American import Hassan Adams, who was forced to sit out this game due to a groin injury (and forced to miss the game due to personal reasons), the 4th-placed Singapore Slingers took down the 1st-placed Saigon Heat 77-74 in front of a delighted home crowd in a competitive game of ABL basketball that ended with a nail-biting finish.
It was the contributions of the Singapore locals who stepped up their game that resulted in this well-fought win. Together, they combined for 51 of the teams’ 77 points in the game.
On #Singapore Assassin Tee Collection Day*, Wong Wei Long, successfully shook of his shooting slump, to lead his team with a game-high 23 points from 8/18 shooting. He had 4 three-pointers in the Slingers’ best scoring game of the season.
Rookie shooting guard, Larry Liew, had a career-high performance of his own, scoring all 16 of his points in the first half. Larry was 6/10 from the field and 4/6 from three-point land.
Ever-reliable big man, Kyle Jeffers, also had an impressive performance with 16 points and 14 rebounds while putting his offensive skills to the test against the Heat’s ex-NBA Defensive Big man Justin Williams. Jeffers almost played the entire game and finally fouled out with a minute left in the game. It was the 2nd consecutive time the Slingers’ big man has fouled out of the game this season!
Without their leader Jeffers on the floor, the locals and Al Vergara were left on the court to play a tight game against the Heat’s starting five. The score was 75-74 in favour of the Slingers with a full minute left in the game.
However, the Saigon Heat were unable to capitalise on Jeffers’ departure as they missed 3 attempts to take over the lead or tie the game. Both Delvin and Han Bin split a pair of free-throws each, and the Slingers prevailed to win their 2nd game of the season.
Unlike the other games, the Slingers began this game looking to push the floor and put points on the scoreboard. Larry Liew and Wei Long were the beneficiaries of the Slingers new “no-Adams” offensive strategy, and managed to get going early in the game. The Slingers led 26-13 at the end of the first quarter and 46-35 at the half.
Larry Liew was the man of the first half, where he scored all of his 16 points. The skinny and smooth shooting guard was literally shooting the lights out from three-point land.
The 2nd half was a different story, as we saw the Saigon Heat quickly climb back into the game from David Arnold’s drives. The Slingers’ 11 point lead was quickly reduced to zero, with the team tied up 53, in just 5 minutes into the third quarter. What was a supposedly easy game for the Slingers turned into a tooth-and-nail battle.
This was when the Singapore Assassin was at his best. With the game tied at 53, Wong Wei Long sank a deep trey literally in the face of Heat import Dustin Scott to put Slingers up 56-53. The third quarter ended with the Slingers narrowly taking a 3 point lead at 61-58.
The fourth quarter opened with Wei Long drawing a foul on Dustin Scott that sent him to the line for 3 free-throws. He would hit 2 of the 3 shots.
However, behind Justin Williams and David Arnold, the Heat responded by pounding the paint, where they scored 48 points, and held a slim lead at 68-65. At that junction, the Heat seems as if they were going to steal the game away.
But the veteran point guard, Al Vergara, would knock down a big trey off the screen, on a set play by Coach Neo after the timeout to tie the game at 68.
Then, it was Wei Long, Desmond and Jeffers who willed the team to victory. On the offensive end, Jeffers finally connected on his 3rd try on a sweeping jump hook past Justin Williams’ post defense. Wei Long knocked down another trey off the curl screen to put the Slingers up 73-70.
But it was Desmond Oh, on the defensive end, with hustle plays that managed to give the Slingers not 1, but 2 extra possessions during that stretch.
The most notable play of the game belonged to Jeffers’ stunning putback dunk off Wei Long’s miss lay-up that sent the home crowd on their feet. This would be his last field goal before fouling out of the game.
This was a sweet sweet win for the Singapore Slingers who badly needed this one.
This win was for the home fans who believed that this team was going to lead the Slingers to their best season yet.
This win was also for Hassan Adams, who while battling injuries, had to urgently attend to a personal matter. At this junction, Slingers Nation would like to give a shout-out to Adams: “You take care, bro, with whatever you are facing right now, and hope you will be back with the team soon”.
Next up, they will hit the road to play Laskar Dreya for the second time this Wednesday 6 August.
*On a cheerful note, the big fans of the Singapore Assassin received their #SingaporeAssassin Tees today! A few other fans have asked us after the game if they could get still get their hands on the #SingaporeAssassin Tees, and we are now seriously toying with the idea of a second reprint.
Please drop us a FB Message if you are interested in getting the Tees.