ABL: Locals lead Slammers past Heat

Chanachon Klahan and Wutipong Dasom handed new title sponsors Sports Rev a 90-75 win for the Thailand Slammers over the Saigon Heat at Tan Binh Stadium.

Wutipong Dasom

The Slammers successfully strengthened their position at the fourth spot with a record of 6-9.

Klahan had his best game in a Slammers jersey with 17 points. Charles also contributed 17 points before he was ejected in the third quarter while Darrius Brannon finished with 16 points. Dasom scored 10 of his 14 points in the final quarter. After flirting with a triple-double all season long, Froilan Baguion finally had one as he posted up 10 points, 11 rebounds and 11 assists.

The Heat has been hammered by injuries all season long. For this game, the Heat only have eight players on the bench as Larry Tieu had to sit out due to a back injury he suffered against the Indonesia Warriors on Wednesday night. Things did not get better for the Heat as Jai Reyes suffered what looked like a foot injury with 33 seconds left in the first quarter. Fortunately, Reyes was able to return to the game in the third quarter.

Things got very intense in the third quarter when Klahan and Chris Sumalinog fought for a loose ball. Klahan, who grabbed the loose ball, caught Sumalinog on the nose with his elbow, which resulted in players from both teams getting involved. David Palmer and Charles then had a heated exchange which led to both players getting ejected with 7:40 left.

Despite the incident, the Slammers were able to keep their heads cool and Darrius Brannon sparked a 12-2 run which gave the Slammers a 57-47 lead with 2:11 left in the third quarter. The run was capped off with back to back baskets from Brannon who scored 8 points during that stretch.

Even though the Heat were left with 7 players, they played their hearts out. Sumalinog tried to lead a come back for his team early in the fourth quarter. Sumalinog drove hard to the basket for a lay-up and sank a three-point shot in the next possesion to cut the Heat's deficit to 7 points with 4:52 left.

Unfortunately for the Heat, Dasom made a few key plays down the stretch to deny their comeback. Dasom converted a three-point play and finished off a lob from Froilan Baguion which gave the Slammers their biggest lead in the game at 82-67 with 1:41 left.

Slammers' head coach Joe Bryant gave the Heat a lot of credit. "My hat goes off to Saigon Heat. They are a depleted team but they played with a lot of energy," said Bryant after the game.

The Heat would hope that the injury woes will stop so they wil be able to play in full strength for the remainder of the season. Dior Lowhorn led his team with 26 points, Sumalinog finished with 16 points while Jai Reyes and Al Vergara contributed 13 points each.

The Heat will have a 12-day break before facing the San Miguel Beermen at Tan Binh Stadium, Vietnam, on Wednesday April 17th for the 8:30PM HKT tip-off. The Slammers will look to continue their winning streak on Wednesday April 10th when they face the Indonesia Warriors at Nimibutr Stadium, Thailand at 8PM HKT.

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