The Singapore Slingers were left licking their wounds after being outclassed by a superior Adelaide 36ers side 95-52 in their second Merlion Cup game yesterday, but the team are treating the loss as a learning experience.
The result was never in doubt at the OCBC Arena as the 36ers raced out to a 30-14 lead in the first quarter and did not look back. The Australian side were led by Mitchell Creek (17 points) and Nathan Sobey (15 points), both of whom played for the National Basketball Association's Utah Jazz in July's Summer League.
Creek was a perfect 7-of-7 from the field, adding five rebounds and four assists.
"We were a bit rusty today but five days (of preparation before the Cup) is not an excuse. We struggled to get ourselves organised in the half-court offence and that's killing us," said Slingers head coach Neo Beng Siang. "The energy and intensity they played with - that's something we have to learn. It's not just for one game, but throughout (a competition)."
Added forward Ng Hanbin: "They're one of the top teams in Australia so we've just got to be positive and try as learn as much as we can."
Xavier Alexander and Ryan Wright had 12 points apiece. Delvin Goh added 10 points off the bench, showcasing his range with a pair of long jumpers.
The 36ers were in peak condition with their National Basketball League due to begin on Oct 5, running the Slingers' defence ragged with sharp movement and pressuring their opponents into costly turnovers.
The Slingers' frustration built up to a peak in the fourth quarter, with things getting heated between Alexander and Sobey after a foul by the former.
Said Alexander: "We came in trying to win the game but their physicality overwhelmed us at times."
In other games, Indonesia's Satria Muda Pertamina, with Gary Jacobs Jr's 33 points, defeated the Philippines' NLEX-SCTEX 104-90 to finish third in Group A.
The Shanghai Sharks-Jeonju KCC Egis clash saw the former win 71-55, led by Dong Hanlin's double-double of 13 points and 10 rebounds.
SHANGHAI SHARKS V S'PORE SLINGERS
S-final 1: Singtel TV Ch110, 4pm
ADELAIDE 36ERS V JEONJU KCC EGIS
S-final 2: Ch110, 6pm