After the opening night road defeat against Hi-Tech Bangkok City, the Singapore Slingers bounced back to record a 85-74 over the Saigon Heat at the CIS Arena.
Justin Howard led the game with 28 points and 15 rebounds, while Xavier Alexander, awarded the Player of the Game, added 22 points, 8 rebounds and 4 assists.
Saigon Heat was led by the noticeably leaner and quicker Vietnamese-American David Harrison Arnold, who scored 17 points. British import Will Creekmore added 13 points and 11 rebounds, while American import Leon Daniel had 12 and 12, but fouled out with 5 minutes left in the game.
However, this was not enough to hold of the hungry Slingers who refused to drop their 2nd consecutive road game to start the season.
The Slingers started the game strong, building a 17-8 lead over the Heat, early in the first quarter. However, the Heat would crawl back and slice the lead down to one at 25-26 at Leon Daniel’s jumper. The Slingers would go on a 17-5 run to close the half and go up by 12.
The rest of the half was all Slingers as the Heat struggled to compensate for an inside presence to match Justin Howard both on offense and defense. The Slingers built the biggest lead of the game of 20 points (75-55) with 8 minutes left in the game.
The Heat later went on on a 8-zip run, but it ran out of time, leading up to a Slingers victory.
While the Heat’s ASEAN import Moses Morgan and David Arnold impressed, the lack of size to match the Slingers was evident on both ends of the court.
Slingers played their second consecutive game without veterans Ng Han Bin and Wu Qing De.
19-year old Rookie Leon Kwek, however, impressed with a 9-point production of the bench.
The Slingers will have a week’s break before they return back to familiar grounds to take on the Thai powerhouse team, Mono Vampires, on 8 November.
-Photo Credit by Saigon Heat