It was a nerve wrecking game which went down to the last shot.
The Slammers' Wacharapong Tongsri missed a potential game winning shot and Justin Howard, who rebounded Tongsri's miss, was not able to send the game to overtime.
The Heat's Dior Lowhorn finished the game as the leading scorer with 21 points and 10 rebounds, followed by teammate David Palmer who also had a double-double with 20 points and 12 rebounds.
The Heat built a 38-32 lead in the third quarter after Lowhorn and Palmer each made a basket with 7:10 left in the third quarter. The Slammers' Michael Earl and Justin Howard then sparked a 12-2 run capped by a dunk from Earl that made it 44-40 for the Slammers with 4:56 left in the third quarter.
The fourth quarter started with an 11-2 run from the Heat which helped them stretch their lead to 65-54 after Lowhorn connected on a three and Palmer nailed a shot with 7:37 left in the game.
The Slammers responded immediately and pulled within 62-67 on three point shots from Tongsri and Wutipong Dawsom with 5:42 left. The momentum suddenly shifted the home team's way after Earl made a basket to put the Slammers up 72-71 with 2 minutes left.
But that momentum was quickly shut down by Palmer who came up huge down the stretch. The 6'9'' center connected on back to back three-point shots, giving the Heat a 77-72 lead with 1 minute left which helped the Heat grab their first win of the season.
Heat's backcourt tandem Phillip Morrison and Jai Reyes were crucial in this win as well. Morrison found his shooting groove tonight after a tough debut last Saturday. The Fil-Am shooting guard finished with 19 points including 5 three-pointers. Reyes, who was a fan favorite last year in Bangkok, had an impressive game and finished with 13 points and dished out 12 assists, including the two assists which set Palmer up for the critical back to back three point shots down the stretch.
The Slammers received big contributions from their two local players but it was still not enough. Both Tongsri and Dawsom had a career game with 16 points each. Earl led the Slammers with 19 points while Froilan Baguion finished the game with a new ABL record of 17 assists.
Quarter scoring: Q1(12-14) Q2(17-18) Q3(23-22) Q4(23-23)
Full-Time: Slammers 75-77 Heat
Chang Thailand Slammers: Michael Earl - 19, Wacharapong Tongsri - 16, Wutipong Dawsom - 16, Justin Howard - 12, Froilan Baguion - 8, Danai Kongkum - 2, Pairach Sekteera - 2.
Saigon Heat: Dior Lowhorn - 21, David Palmer - 20, Philip Morrison - 19, Jai Reyes - 13, Larry Tieu - 4.