ABL: Slammers go fourth with Slingers win

Sports Rev Thailand Slammers took control of their own Playoff destiny with a dominant 73-49 win over the Jobstreet.com Singapore Slingers.

ABL News: Froilan Baguion
Marcus Chhan

By Marcus Chhan

The Slammers went into Sunday's game at the Singapore Indoor Stadium trailing the fourth-placed Slingers in the ASEAN Basketball League (ABL) standings for the final spot in the post-season.

However, a strong performance from Chris Charles (19 points, 19 rebounds) and a mesmerising display from Froilan Baguion (14 points, 10 assists) allowed the Thais to leapfrog the Singaporeans in the ABL table with their 24-point margin of victory.

The Slammers now own a 7-12 record and a better head-to-head record (3-2) against the Slingers, who are a game back at 6-12 with only a handful of games now left in the ABL's 22-game regular season.

Singapore will need to play much better in their next game against the Saigon Heat at Tan Binh Stadium on Thursday if they want to keep some pressure on Thailand.

Coach Neo Beng Siang's side dug themselves into an early grave against the Slammers with some sloppy offensive possessions to start, allowing the Thais to jump out to a 9-0 lead less than three minutes into the contest.

Darrius Brannon (15 points, 16 rebounds) got the hoop and the foul and made his free-throw.

In contrast, Singapore shot the ball terribly throughout both from the floor (27%) and from the charity stripe (39%) but they were especially poor in the opening stages and Thailand had an eight point lead to start the second quarter.

As a unit the Thais showed energy and aggressiveness on defence which the Singaporeans never matched while on the offensive end Baguion was in total control of his surroundings.

Slammers coach Joe Bryant enjoyed plenty of success running a high pick and roll play for Baguion to exploit with his speed and the Filipino guard took advantage of a fully-stretched Slingers' defence by dishing nine of his 10 assists in the first half alone.

Baguion was also making his shots and his first of two three pointers on the day helped establish a 21-point lead in second quarter.

Singapore tried to muster a comeback through Jun Cabatu's seven second quarter points but they still trailed 41-23 at the half-time break.

"It's a very tough loss," Cabatu told FOX Sports.

"Coming into this game, I think we were more hungry but we started out flat today [Sunday] and they wanted it more in the end.

"I dont' know what happened, they were just making too many easy baskets."

Rashaad Singleton (eight points, nine rebounds, five blocks) nailed a neat turn-around jumper to begin the third.

However, the Slingers did not score again until guard Wong Wei Long converted three free-throws with 3:57 remaining.

In the final period, Singapore went down by as much as 34 points with the Thais punctuating their superiority on the day through a two-handed throw-down by Charles after a nice feed from Kannawat Lertlaaokul.

An encouraging cameo appearance from some of the Slingers' second string local players trimmed the lead slightly before Lertlaaokul's lay-up at the buzzer sealed the 73-49 win in Singapore.

Slingers' guard Phil Morrison, who had to play with a mask to protect his broken nose, was held to just four points after torching the Slammers with 26 points in last week's win in Bangkok.

Quarter scoring: Q1(12-20) Q2(11-21) Q3(10-14) Q4(14-16)

Full-Time: Slingers 49-73 Slammers

Slingers: Cabatu - 8, Singleton - 8, Jennings - 5, Lim - 5, Wong - 5, Wu - 5, Morrison - 4, Goh - 4, Oh - 3, Folkoff - 2.

Slammers: Charles - 19, Brannon - 15, Baguion - 14, Dasom - 10 , Apiromvilaichai - 4, Samerjai - 4, Sekteera - 2, Klahan - 2, Lertlaaokul - 2, Kongkum - 1.

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