Asean Basketball League: Singapore Slingers beat Westports Malaysia Dragons 80-62

SINGAPORE - The Singapore Slingers kicked off their 2016/2017 Asean Basketball League (ABL) campaign with a 80-62 win over defending champions Westports Malaysia Dragons at the OCBC Arena on Friday.

The Slingers, who had lost 2-3 in the best-of-five ABL Finals series to the same rivals in March, started strong to lead 18-11 after the first quarter.

But their rivals caught up, overcoming the seven-point deficit in the first two-and-a-half minutes of the next quarter to level the score. The Dragons were quicker off the rebounds in the second quarter, outscoring their opponents 21-14 to end the first half in a 32-32 deadlock.

The home side tightened their defence in the third quarter to regain their lead, with the quarter ending 55-41 in their favour. There was no looking back for the fired-up hosts as they consolidated their lead, keeping the pressure on the Dragons to keep them at bay, despite a late surge from the visitors in the last two minutes of the game.

The Slingers will play their next game on Sunday against Alab Pilipinas of the Philippines at the Alonte Sports Arena in Binan, Laguna.