After a win against the Saigon Heat on “Pink Jerseys” Cancer Awareness Night, the Slingers have booked their place in the 2014 ABL playoffs – after missing the postseason for the last 2 seasons.
However, till date, their playoff opponents remain unknown – a testament of how competitive the league is. By far, only Laskar Dreya South Summatra have bowed out of the competition, while Saigon Heat and Indonesia Warriors in the race for the last and final playoff spot.
As the 2014 ABL season enters into its final weeks, the Slingers are now left with 3 more games. Their remaining 3 opponents: Westports Malaysia Dragons, Saigon Heat and Hi-Tech Bangkok City.
Unfortunately for the Slingers, the last 3 games would have to be played on the road. And, how they close the season would have a huge impact on the playoff picture.
With just 3 more games to go, we thought it’s high time to do some playoff prediction.
So here’s how the playoff picture would look like for the Slingers – beginning with the worst to the best case scenarios:
1) Worst case Scenario: The Slingers lose all of their last 3 road games
Should the Slingers drop their last 3 road games, there is a possibility of them dropping to 4th place should the Indonesia Warriors win their last 3. The Warriors will face Laskar Dreya twice and Saigon Heat once. If the Warriors can close the season strong with 3 wins, they would finish with an identical 11-9 record with the Slingers. As the Warriors have beaten the Slingers thrice in the season, they would displace the Slingers from the 3rd place.
2) The Slingers beat the Heat, but lose to both the Dragons and Hi-Tech
In this scenario, the Slingers will end their season with a 12-8 record and take sole possession of 3rd place. They will then proceed face either Hi-Tech Bangkok or Westports Malaysia Dragons in the playoffs – with no home court advantage.
3) The Slingers beat the Heat and the Dragons, and loses to Hi-Tech
In this scenario, there might be a chance the Slingers stealing the 2nd spot from the Dragons. However, this would involve the Dragons either losing all their games – against the Slingers, Hi-Tech and Laskar Dreya – or the Dragons losing to the Slingers by a margin of at least 26 points and losing to either one of those teams.
Why at least 26 points? That’s because the Dragons now hold 25-point differential over the Slingers from the last 3 match-ups (Dragons 2 – Slingers 1). Should the Slingers split the season series against the Dragons, unless that 25-point differential is erased, the Dragons will still keep the second spot.
4) The Slingers beat the Heat and Hi-Tech and loses to the Dragons.
If this should happen, this would be the trickiest of all scenarios. With a 13-7 record, the Slingers could end up with a 2nd seed with the Dragons moving up to 1st place, should Hi-Tech also drop a game to the Dragons and a game to the Heat, and finish with an identical 13-7 record. The Slingers, having won the season series, would have the edge in the tie-breaker and therefore the 2nd seed.
5) Best case scenario: The Slingers win all 3 road games against the Heat, the Dragons and Hi-Tech
This is the only scenario that might possibly give the Slingers into the number 1 spot. Yes, Slingers fans! The Number 1 Spot is still up for grabs!
The Slingers will end up with a 14-6 record. But this would have to involve both the Dragons and Hi-Tech losing twice in their last 3 and 4 games respectively.
Well, here you have it, Slingers fans. Just 3 more games left in the Slingers season, but plenty of playoff possibilities.
Just simply proves it is going to be a tight tight finish.