Basketball: Slingers enter ABL Finals after defeating Alab Pilipinas 82-64

SINGAPORE - The Singapore Slingers stood their ground against Alab Pilipinas on Friday night (April 7), defeating them 82-64, marking a return to the Asean Basketball League finals.

In the second game in the best-of-three semi-finals at the Baliwag Star Arena in Baliwag Bulacan, the Philippines, the Slingers started the game strong with a 10-point lead by the end of the first quarter.

They managed to maintain a sizeable margin for the rest of the match, peaking at 18 points in the second and final quarter.

The Slingers' Xavier Alexander led the team with 21 points, while Filipino-American point guard Joshua Urbiztondo added 20 points and American centre Justin Howard contributed 18 points.

The Slingers will now have a shot at claiming the title. Last year, they came within a game of winning the title, losing 2-3 against Westports Malaysia Dragons in the finals.

In a post-match interview, Urbiztondo, 34, who joined the team in February, said: "This is not the end. We still have to go out and play hard in the final. We now have a chance to make up for last year's defeat."

Their opponents in the final will likely be top seeds Hong Kong Eastern Long Lions, who compiled a 16-4 record in the regular season and hold a 1-0 lead over Saigon Heat in the other semi-final clash.

Game Two for that match-up is on Saturday (April 8) in Ho Chi Minh City.