By Marcus ChhanFollow @@MarcusChhan
By Marcus Chhan
The Slammers headed into Friday's game at Nimibutr Stadium 0-3 in the new ABL 2013 season, but rode to victory against the Slingers on the back of a sterling effort from point guard Froilan Baguion, who had 15 points and 13 assists
New Slammers import Chris Charles built on his 20 point, 13 rebound debut during last Friday's 91-83 loss to the Westports Malaysia Dragons with 16 points and 16 rebounds against the Singapore team.
The Slingers, who trailed by as much as 14 points late in the third quarter, kept the game interesting right towards the final seconds thanks to Kyle Jeffers' 18 points and 10 rebounds.
Both teams shot the ball poorly from the floor with the Slingers making only 26 of their 78 field goal attempts (36%) while the Slammers were only slightly better at 25 for 69 (36%).
In a closely contested first quarter, the hosts finished with a 22-19 lead as Charles began to establish his presence around the basket with eight points while the Slingers duo of Jun Cabatu and Rashad Jones-Jennings contributed 12 of the team's total 19 points in the period.
And it was a similar story in the second quarter with both teams trading buckets - and turnovers - but the Thais got into the half-time break leading by four points (38-34) with Baguion finding his range from beyond the arc with two three pointers in the quarter - the Filipino actually went a poor 2/10 from distance.
In the third quarter, the Slammers pulled away. A Charles steal and finish with just over four minutes left in the period saw the home side's advantage pushed up to 10 points. It would become 14 after Michael Earl - he had a quiet game with 10 points and only two rebounds - scored with under two minutes left.
However, the Slingers cut it back to 55-46 on a Desmond Oh triple with just seconds left in the quarter.
In the final period, the Slingers battled to within four points of the Thais with less than two minutes to go - and held hope of a road win when Oh hit another three to make it a one point game (63-62) with 1:26 left.
Slingers guard Donald Dulay would send Baguion to the line with 19 seconds left and to the relief of Slammers coach Joe Bryant, the Filipino made both his free-throws to edge his team further ahead 65-62.
The Slingers could not force overtime through Cabatu's missed three pointer and the Slammers picked up their first win of the new ABL season.
Defeat drops the Slingers to 1-1; the Slammers improve to 1-3.