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Slingers Spook Heat in Halloween Home Opener

Even a gym full of Heat fans decked out in Halloween regalia couldn’t keep the Singapore Slingers from terrifying Saigon’s pro hoops squad, as the visiting team came out with a 86-74 victory against the Saigon Heat last Saturday.

Paced by a 25-point, 15-rebound performance by former Heat player Justin Howard, the Slingers led from the opening tip in the ASEAN Basketball League (ABL) match-up and never looked back. Though the Heat were able to bring the game to within a point on a couple occasions in the first half, the Slingers ultimately took over in the second.

The Heat were spurred on by a boisterous home crowd but were plagued by miscues in their first home match. Vietnamese-American star David Arnold led the team with 22 points, while his fellow countryman Will Creekmore produced 18 points and 13 rebounds. A scary moment in the first half saw American Lenny Daniel’s head bounce off the hardwood, but he returned after a breather. Daniel eventually fouled out and left the game with 12 points and 13 rebounds.

“A couple of our important pieces are pretty new,” conceded Creekmore, himself a recent arrival from the Worcester Wolves of the British Basketball League. “We were out of sync.”

“In the first half we didn’t have energy,” he continued. “Tonight was unacceptable and I don’t see it happening again.”

One positive takeaway from the match was the increased court time enjoyed by domestic players, such as veteran Trieu Han Minh, who played more than 24 minutes, and To Quang Trung, who clocked in with just under 18. Saigon’s next home game is against the Westports Malaysia Dragons at the Canadian International School on Saturday, November 7 at 5pm.

[Photo via ASEAN Basketball League]

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