Basketball: ABL leaders Slingers blast past Saigon to record 10th consecutive win

SINGAPORE - The Singapore Slingers kept up their perfect winning streak at home this season as they trounced the Saigon Heat 84-69 on Sunday afternoon.

The victory not only stretched their unbeaten run at the OCBC Arena to seven matches, but the Slingers also recorded their 10th consecutive win as they remained at the top of the six-team standings in the Asean Basketball League (ABL).

With a win-loss record of 13-2 and with five games left, the Slingers are in pole position to qualify for the play-offs as they aim to lift their maiden ABL title.

The home side looked sharp from the tip-off as they raced to a 24-8 lead. Meanwhile, the visitors appeared fatigued and they showed no true sign of scoring an upset like what they had done in their previous match, winning 94-90 against defending champions Hi-Tech Bangkok City just two days earlier.

With little resistance and backed by strong performances from Filipino cager Kris Rosales (20 points), Wong Wei Long (19 points) and 2.01m-tall American Justin Howard (17 points), the Slingers extended their lead to 23 points by the third quarter and closed out the contest comfortably in front of more than 800 supporters.

Said 27-year-old Wong: "Their tiredness showed. But we don't take any team lightly and we treat each game seriously as though it's our last game. I'm pleased with the team's energy and effort today."

Despite the dominant win, the Slingers' head coach Neo Beng Siang felt that there was a lot of room for improvement for his players.

He said: "We were just not consistent enough in both our offence and defence. We let them back a little into the game. There are still a lot of things to work on as we look forward to the play-offs."

Rosales, 25, said: "There were a few turnovers which we missed, so we need to go back, look at the tape and fix these mistakes."

The Slingers will look to maintain their hot form when they host title rivals Hi-Tech on Friday night.