ABL: Warriors frustrate Slingers for fifth win

The Indonesia Warriors extended their winning streak to five-games after a 61-48 win over the Jobstreet.com Singapore Slingers at Senayan Indoor Stadium.

Warriors vs Slingers.
Kelvin Yap

By Kelvin Yap

The Warriors sealed victory in with a team effort despite the Slingers' Rashad Jones-Jennings finally coming to form and pouring in 19 points for his side.

The match played out much like the previous fixture played last month in Singapore with neither side converting more than half the chances from the field and patient build-up play featuring in a slow game.

Warrios coach Todd Purves' defensive strategy of winning the battle inside the key with the strong pairing of Chris Daniels and Steven Thomas paid off as the Slingers were forced to go for baskets from outside and landed only three out of 17 three point attempts. Daniels and Thomas also had a strong game on the boards as both players grabbed 12 rebounds each while Daniels also contributed with a game-high of four blocks.

The Slingers were not helped by the fact that their go-to scorer Kyle Jeffers had a poor game in terms of finishing and managed to land only four baskets from the field out of 16 attempts, leaving the usually-profligate Jones-Jennings to take up the mantle as their point-getter.

The Indonesian Warriors, who were not playing at their regular Mahaka Square home court, burst into a strong start, taking a 10-5 with John Smith's incisive runs from outside causing headaches for the Slingers, converting a lay-up and drawing two fouls within the first five minutes of the game.

Jones-Jennings then scored four quick points to reduce the Warriors' lead to 13-12 with only two minutes left in the quarter - the closest the Slingers would get to the Warriors all game - only for Amin Prihantono to land one from beyond the arc to end the the first quarter at 16-12.

The second quarter started off with both sides seemingly fighting to score less points - the Slingers scored their first point of the period after five minutes via Desmond Goh but the Warriors failed to take advantage of the profligacy and scored only eight points in the duration, leaving the score at 22-14.

The game threatened to sputter to life in the last four minutes of the half when Mario Wuysang struck with two three-pointers in quick succession to give his side a comfortable cushion of a 36-16 lead but the Slingers replied by going on a 7-0 run to end the half.

However, it was not to be as the 3rd quarter began with even more dire finishing from both sides, with only two points from John Smith to show after more than three minutes went by in the second half.

Like the previous quarter, the game burst into semblance of life towards the end when the Slingers cut the lead down to single digits after Santiago Cabatu laid Jennings in with an aerial pass from outside into the paint, but the Warriors never looked threatened from then on as they entered the break with a 45-38 lead after Jerick Canada tipped the ball in from a rebound to beat the buzzer.

The Slingers tightened their game coming into the final quarter and managed to prevent the Warriors from scoring in the opening three minutes. However, they failed to convert their chances themselves and scored only four points before the Warriors built up their lead again with a seven point run led by John Smith's three-pointer.

The Warriors then took their foot off the gas as both sides added only 13 points each in the final quarter to add to the 12 points in the third quarter in one of the lowest scoring halves in modern basketball history.

Warriors coach Purves was happy with the win that kept his side top of the ABL table.

"I'm happy with the effort from the team. We contained them well in the second half. The Slingers are a classy well-coached side and have good chemistry. I'm pleased and it's a good team effort from us." he said after the game.

"We're going to try to stay top of the table, but we will also be taking each game as they come. We have a tough game in Thailand against the Slammers coming up - it's a quick turnaround, so we will have to focus on that one before we get a break."

Canada was the player of the game after an admirable all-round game where he scored 11 points and did an excellent job keeping the Slingers' guards quiet.

The Warriors guard echoed his coach's sentiments, saying: " We have to give credit to Slingers. As for staying top of the table, we will have to take a game one at a time. We will play our own game, stay aggressive and see where it takes us."

The Indonesian Warriors will have only a day to rest before travelling to Bangkok to play the Chang Thailand Slammers on Friday while the Slingers will host the Saigon Heat at the Singapore Indoor Stadium on Sunday.

Quarter scoring: Q1(16-12) Q2(20-11) Q3(12-12) Q4(13-13) 

Full-Time: Warriors 61-48 Slingers

Warriors: Smith - 11pts, Canada - 11pts, Wuysang - 10pts, Daniels - 10pts.

Slingers: Jones-Jennings - 19pts, Jeffers - 9pts, Cabatu - 9pts.

ABL: Fixtures, Standings and Results.

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