The Singapore Slingers' stellar 10-match winning run in the Asean Basketball League was ended last night, as rivals Hi-Tech Bangkok City won 83-75 at the OCBC Arena.
A dominant first-half performance saw Hi-Tech holding a 10-point half-time lead, and it proved too much to overcome for the hosts, who put up a valiant second-half comeback but eventually ran out of steam.
Hi-Tech's centre Christien Charles led the field with 26 points and 21 rebounds, while point guard Wong Wei Long paced the Slingers with 22 points, 18 of those from beyond the arc.
Slingers' assistant coach Michael Johnson attributed the defeat to their poor free-throw performance.
He said: "We struggled on the foul line whole year, and tonight it really came back and bit us. If we had made half of our foul shots, I would say the results would have been a bit different."
Slingers' foreign import Xavier Alexander was the main culprit last night, missing 12 out of 16 free throw attempts.
Poor defence also led to the loss. Said Johnson: "Their big guys dominated us the first half. We started to play in the second half, but had already dug ourselves a pretty big hole, so it's difficult to come back."
With four games left to play in the regular season, the Slingers remain top of the league with a 13-3 win-loss record, and next play fifth-placed Mono Vampire away on Wednesday.