SINGAPORE - The Singapore Slingers rounded off their Asean Basketball League regular season in style with a resounding 100-73 win over fourth-placed Saigon Heat at the OCBC Arena on Sunday.
The Vietnamese team kept the scoreline close in the first half, with the Slingers' centre Justin Howard's three early fouls limiting his defensive impact in the paint. However, the home team's relentless pressing game meant they were never overly troubled, with 25 points coming from turnovers.
Such was the Slingers' control that five locals were on court for much of the last quarter, affording imports Howard, Xavier Alexander and Kris Rosales rest time.
The visitors' captain David Arnold topped the overall scoring chart with 26 points, while Alexander and Howard led the way for the Republic's only professional basketball team with 17 points apiece.
With both teams already clinching their play-off spots, the Slingers finish second in the league despite sharing an identical win-loss ratio (16-4) with Westports Malaysia Dragons. The Malaysians finished on top because of their superior head-to-head record against the Singapore outfit.
The in-form Dragons had earlier ended their regular season with a 103-86 victory over bottom team Pilipinas MX3 Kings.
As the second-seeded team going into the play-off semi-finals, the Slingers will face defending champions Hi-Tech Bangkok City (14-6) at home in their play-off opener next Sunday, the first in the best-of-three series.
The top-seeded Dragons will host Saigon (9-11) in the other semi-final.