Missing key players such as Mitchell Folkoff, Leon Kwek and Larry Liew, the Singapore Slingers proved they are still a work in progress when they were routed 83-59 by Kung Fu Basketball Club in the Asean Basketball League (ABL) opener last night.
The match was delayed by 15 minutes as China's basketball association did not approve of the hosts' registration. As such, Nanhai had to be dropped as a prefix from their original name, although that did not distract the home team.
While their former Slingers centre Justin Howard misfired in the first half with a conversion rate of just 20 per cent, Anthony Tucker more than made up for it, catching fire with 12 points and seven rebounds to give his team a 35-24 half-time advantage.
Slingers coach Neo Beng Siang took just 10 players instead of the customary 12 to the Nanhai Gymnasium and got off to a cold start, making just four out of 13 attempts. Tucker was almost unplayable from the three-point line, making seven out of 10 shots en route to a game-high 31 points.
Neo said: "I'm not happy with the whole team. We were too conservative. In offence, after one or two passes, we were too slow and looked like passengers. Up front, we gave up too many offensive rebounds.
"Tucker can shoot, and he killed us with all his three-pointers."