Laser-sharp Slingers slay dismal Dragons

The Slingers' John Fields squaring off with the Dragons' Nnanna Egwu. Fields shot 84.6 per cent from the field for a game-high 25 points.
The Slingers' John Fields squaring off with the Dragons' Nnanna Egwu. Fields shot 84.6 per cent from the field for a game-high 25 points.ST PHOTO: DESMOND WEE

It started with two from Xavier Alexander, with Ng Han Bin and Desmond Oh also on target, and this was only the first quarter.

The Singapore Slingers started last night's Asean Basketball League (ABL) game in red-hot form from behind the arc, as they romped to a 101-47 rout of the Malaysia Dragons at the OCBC Arena with eight three-pointers.

"Those three-pointers saw us set the tempo immediately, and that definitely helped us win," said coach Neo Beng Siang, whose Slingers won a second straight game after an opening 77-73 loss to the Formosa Dreamers last Sunday. They beat Mono Vampire 91-81 in Bangkok on Wednesday.

"I honestly didn't expect so many three-pointers, but it's just a sign of good movement from every player to give someone an open shot."

It was an extra special night for the Slingers, as all seven players on the bench got minutes on the court and got into the scoring act, including 18-year-old Lavin Raj making his debut for them.

"It's great to have everyone scoring, it doesn't happen very often. And, if I'm not mistaken, it's the first time in ABL history that this has happened," said a smiling Neo.

The Slingers' three imports led from the front, with John Fields shooting 84.6 per cent from the field to finish with a game-high 25 points.

 
 

Xavier Alexander and Jerran Young added 17 points each.

But the biggest cheers of the night were reserved for Republic Polytechnic student Lavin.

He was cheered every time he pulled down a rebound - he got four in the five minutes he was on court in the final quarter - and the 1,130-strong crowd went wild when he scored his first points with a jumper from close range.

"Oh my, that feeling when I was waiting to get on was really good. The pressure was getting to me, but it got better when I got my first rebound," said the 2.01m centre.

"When I scored and I heard the crowd cheering, it gave me the chills. I just wanted to embrace every single moment."

The Slingers will next face the Macau Black Bears, who won their opening two games, at the OCBC Arena next Friday.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on November 24, 2018, with the headline 'Laser-sharp Slingers slay dismal Dragons'. Print Edition | Subscribe