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Singapore Slingers clinch second ABL win

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By Kristine Paula Aquino
21 October 2009

The Singapore Slingers beat the Philippine Patriots 74-69 and won the second ASEAN Basketball League this Sunday at the Singapore Indoor Stadium.

Helmed by top scorers Kyle Jeffers and Michael LeBlanc, the Slingers charged through the tension-filled match and led over the Patriots by as much as 15 points in the third quarter.

LeBlanc believes the Slingers’ biggest strength during the match was its ability to stick together as a team. “There was a lot of adversity tonight, but the main thing is we got our offense, we got the lose balls,” he said.

The Patriots, however, did not go down without a fight. After a sloppy third quarter, they stepped up to score 27 points in the game’s last ten minutes. Led by Brandon Powell and Jason Dixon, the Patriots sank a succession of two and three-pointers in the fourth quarter to whittle down the Slingers’ massive lead.

According to Slingers coach Frank Arsego, his team’s less-than-stellar response to the Patriots’ late game rally signaled a need to go back to basics.

“For us we made some simple fundamental mistakes, so early in the week we go back and work on the fundamentals: passing, being strong with the ball. Those things do make a difference when you’re under pressure,” Arsego said.

The 2,200-strong crowd certainly adds pressure to the players as they cheered and booed vigorously throughout the entire match. Ten-year-old Daniel Osbourne, who has been a fan of the Slingers since they coached his school’s basketball team, said, “I’ll be cheering for Michael LeBlanc.”

Alfred Paras, who has lived and worked in Singapore for six years, welcomed some good old Philippine basketball by the Patriots. “I had only recently heard about the Patriots, but I decided to come down here and give them my support,” he said.

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As the excited fans egged on their respective teams, tensions ran high in the game’s second half.

The Patriots lost point guard Warren Ybañez to a bloody nose in the last minute and a half of the third quarter after he attempted to block a layup by the Slingers’ LeBlanc. Slinger Wong Wei Long got testy in the fourth quarter, after being called for successive fouls against Patriots Dixon and Powell respectively.

In the midst of the heated arguments and fumbled balls, however, Slingers co-captain Kyle Jeffers offered some sound advice. “When things aren’t going our way, we have to continue to stick together as a team, play our hardest and be strong with the ball and our offense,” he said.

The Slingers will face off against the Brunei Barracudas for their first road game on October 24, after beating them by 18 points in the season-opening home game last week. The Patriots, on the other hand, will fly back to the Philippines to face the Thailand Tigers on October 25.

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Written by mtrayu

November 8, 2009 at 5:19 pm

Posted in Lifestyle, Online News

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