By Les Tan/Red Sports
Desmond Oh (right) had a huge night for Slingers. He had 16 points, three steals and three 3-pointers. (Photo 1 © Vanessa Lim/Red Sports)
Singapore Indoor Stadium, Wednesday, January 18, 2012 — The Singapore Slingers beat the defending champions Thailand Slammers 74-63 to win their first game of the 2012 ASEAN Basketball League (ABL) season.
It was mentally a huge win for the Slingers, especially after their bad opening day loss to the visiting Indonesia Warriors. The 59-79 loss was the Slingers’ heaviest regular season loss since the ABL began two seasons ago.
However, things did not look too good at half time for the home team. After taking a slim 16-15 lead into the first-quarter break, the Slingers fell apart in the second as the Slammers outscored them 21-9.
The Slammers started the second quarter with a 9-0 run before Lim Shengyu (#12) dropped two to make it 18-24. However, Slingers centre Donald Little (#14) missed a dunk — something which he had also done in the first game — and the Slingers could do little right as Slammers got their biggest lead of the game at 11 points (31-21) with two minutes left to half time.
Slingers point guard Donald Dulay hit a three to cut the deficit to eight (23-31) but five straight points from Deandre Thomas — who spent the whole evening enduring catcalls from the Slinger fans about his rather round figure for a pro baller — gave the Slammers a very comfortable 36-25 lead at half time.
The Slammers threatened to run away in the third quarter, taking a 14-point, 42-28 lead but a three-point play by Slingers’ Desmond Oh (#2) to make it 31-42 started a thrilling 16-2 run for the home crowd.
The missed dunks were all forgotten as back-to-back dunks from Little and Louis Graham (#24), together with a Dulay jumper reduced the deficit to just five (39-44).
The Slammers were forced into a timeout at this point but Wong Wei Long (#5) stepped up with a huge three-pointer that tied up the game 44-44 with just under two minutes to go in the third.
With confidence returning, the Slingers took a five-point, 52-47 lead into the fourth quarter.
Dulay then sank another three and Little showed up with another dunk to give the Slingers their biggest lead thus far of 10 (57-47) early in the fourth. The Slingers scored seven unanswered points before the Slammers got going and held an eight-point, 59-51 lead with about 5:30 to go.
Then things started to fall apart slightly, with Little missing another dunk and getting called for goaltending. But local boy Desmond Oh stepped up in the fourth as he stepped up with two threes, the second of which gave the Slingers a 65-57 lead with 3:45 left.
With two minutes on the clock, Slingers led 67-61. Then came another Des special — a driving layup through a mass of bodies and he somehow managed to hook it in for a 69-63 Slinger lead with 1:35 left. Another Wei Long three-pointer with 22 seconds left capped off the 74-63 win for the Slingers.
“Des(mond) did it. He played four quarters of very good basketball,” said Michael Johnson, the Slingers’ general manager. “He hit some big shots in pressure situations.”
“I’m happy about the win because we were down by 14 at one point,” said Desmond Oh.
“There was miscommunication in the second quarter,” said Desmond, referring to the Slingers’ poor second quarter. “We talked it out in the changing room and encouraged each other.”
For Wei Long, he was happy about the good defensive job the team put together.
“Definitely happy we won the game. Happy on the defensive end. We stopped the other guys from penetrating on defense,” said Wei Long.
“My assist to Donald Little for his big dunk,” said Wei Long, when asked about his personal highlight from the game.
Slingers head coach Neo Beng Siang was definitely a relieved man after the game.
“Our local boys stepped up. Wei Long and Des did well in defense and offense. If both step up, we are good. It was a good team effort. Defense is the big key in helping us win the game,” said coach Neo.
Looking for the Slingers’ fixture schedule? All here: Singapore Slingers 2012 ABL Fixtures
Quarter by Quarter Scores
Slingers vs Slammers
1st Q: 16-15
2nd Q: 9-21 (25-36)
3rd Q: 27-11 (52-47)
4th Q: 22-16 (74-63)
How would you rate the game between the Slingers and Slammers?
- Exciting (80%, 33 Votes)
- Boring (15%, 6 Votes)
- Average (5%, 2 Votes)
Total Voters: 41
Slingers Game Box Score
|1||Tan Chin Hong||00:00||0/0||0/0||0/0||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||0|
|5||Wong Wei Long||22:07||2/5||2/4||2/2||0||1||1||3||1||0||0||1||8|
|12||Lim Sheng Yu||06:15||1/3||0/2||0/0||0||1||1||0||1||0||0||0||2|
Slammers Game Box Score