SLR Nips Slingers

On: 26 August 2007

Ryan Reyes scored crucial points and ends up with 14 markers

Even with the help of a former NBA player, the Singapore Slingers could not pull a win against a resilient Sta. Lucia Realty team to absorb its first loss in as many outings in the on-going 7th Brunei Cup. Rod Grizzard, a former Washington Wizards player, and the rest of the Slingers raced to an early 12-2 early in the first quarter, but Dennis Espino made a series of baskets to power SLR to a 22-13 lead at the end of the quarter. Reinforced by former Coca-Cola import, Anthony Johnson, who ended the quarter with a powerful dunk after missing his first, SLR held off repeated rallies for a 89-79 win.

In the second quarter, the Slingers tried to come back and even reduced the lead to just one at the end of the half mostly through the Mike Helms. However, the Slingers' MVP last season in the Australian National Basketball League did not get much support from his teammates.

It was a close battle in the third quarter as Nelbert Omolon and Anthony Johnson combined efforts to stave off Rod Grizzard’s unrelenting scoring and stifling defense. The score could have been leveled at 64-all, but John Fitzgerald failed to score off a Grizzard steal.

The fourth quarter was all Omolon-Johnson and Ryan Reyes show. Omolon and Johnson scored easily to lead all SLR with 22 and 18 points respectively, but it was Ryan Reyes who put the final nail as he converted all his four free throws, stole the ball and scored in the final minute when the Slingers where threatening to overcome a five point deficit at 83-78. The crowd was treated to an amazing display of intense defense from both squad that was highlighted by Omolon’s block on Benjamin Knight’s attempt. Knight eventually fouled out with three minutes still remaining and finished with 16 points.

Coach Boyet Fernandez attributed their win to their vastly improved defense and aggressiveness on the boards. He was actually surprised that they won, but he thinks their biggest test will come today at 3:30 when they meet the Darwin Airport Resort All-Stars. Even they lost in the first game against LG Sakers with a score of 75-65, the Darwin Airport Resort All-Stars remain this tournament’s favorites after finishing as runner-ups last year.

Top scorers:

Sta. Lucia Realtors: Anthony Johnson 22 points, Nelbert Omolon 18 points, Ryan Reyes 14 points
Singapore Slingers: Rod Grizzard 16 points, Ben Knight 16 points, Mike Helms 13 points

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