Phillip Morrison stepped up for the Slingers to score six huge points in the last minute to lead the Slingers over the Slammers in an intriguing contest for a spot in the 2013 ASEAN Basketbal League (ABL) Playoffs.
The win ensures an exciting end to the playoff race as both teams are now tied up in fourth with a 6-11 record. The season series between the two teams is also tied up at two apiece.
Both teams will have their final meeting in the regular season at the end of the month at the Singapore Indoor Stadium, an encounter which could determine who gets the final ticket to the ABL Playoffs.
On Sunday it was Morrison who starred as he led all scoring with 26 points. Rashad Jones-Jennings contributed 16 points and 13 rebounds while Rashaad Singleton finished with 12 points for the Slingers.
The Slingers initially had trouble with their offence and the Slammers took full advantage. Back to back baskets from Froilan Baguion at the end of the first quarter gave the Slammers a 19-10 lead.
The Slammers continued to build their lead early in the second quarter. Chanachon Klahan gave the Slammers their biggest lead in the game at 25-12 with his basket off a nice assist from Baguion.
Struggling offensively, the Slingers then used their defense to get back into the game. The Slammers were limited to only 3 field goals and 13 points in the third quarter. Down by 9 points with 2:30 left in the third quarter, Singleton's fade away shot sparked a 7-2 run which shaved the Slammers lead to 45-41 going into the final quarter.
Baguion extended the Slammers lead to 55-51 after he drove to the lane and made a tough running shot with 5 minutes left in the game. The Slingers then had a couple of good chances to cut their deficit but missed six straight free throws.
Despite his team struggling from the free throw line, Morrison kept a cool head as he took over the game. First, Morrison sank a tough three-point shot and then a fade-away shot from the free throw line to put the Slingers up 56-55 with a little under one minute left.
The Slammers lost their composure with 7.6 seconds left in the game. After Kannut Samerjai was unable to tie the game at 57 with his free throw, Baguion was called for a foul on Desmond Oh. Baguion argued with the call and was hit with a technical foul. Oh and Morrison knocked down four free throws that secured the Slingers win.
Not only did they drop a heartbreaker but they also lost a chance to gain the lead for the fourth position over the Slingers. Baguion had 16 points while Samerjai added 11 points for the Slammers. Chris Charles was held to only three points but managed to grab 16 rebounds and blocked 5 shots.
The Slammers will have a big game on Wednesday night at Nimibutr Stadium, Thailand when they host the hot-streaking San Miguel Beermen.
Quarter scoring: Q1(19-10) Q2(13-14) Q3(13-17) Q4(11-21)
Full-Time: Slammers 56-62 Slingers
Slammers: Baguion -16pts, Samerjai -11pts, Brannon - 8pts, Lertlaaokul - 7pts, Klahan - 7pts, Charled - 3pts, Gonzaga - 2pts, Sekteera - 2pts.
Slingers: Morrison - 26pts, Jennings - 16pts, Singleton - 12pts, Lim - 5pts, Oh - 3pts.