Sunday March 10, 2013
Dragons wary of Slingersí mean defence and Ďgiantí Singleton
By KNG ZHENG GUAN
PETALING JAYA: The Westports Malaysia Dragons have a huge task ahead of them today.
They face Jobstreet.com Singapore Slingers at the Maba Stadium seeking to turn their Asean Basketball League (ABL) season around.
The Dragons were woeful against the San Miguel Beermen last week, failing miserably with their shooting – managing just 25 shots from 69 attempts for a lowly 36% success rate.
They lost 77-66 and sit fourth in the six-team standings with a 4-4 record.
They’ll now be looking to home comfort when they take on the Slingers but it won’t be easy as the Singaporeans have the meanest defence – having allowed just 64.9 points per game.
The Slingers, who have been performing above expectations so far, have also tightened up significantly under the rim with the addition of seven-foot centre Donald Singleton.
Singleton, who has played in Japan, replaced Slingers’ leading scorer Kyle Jeffers, who is suffering from plantar fasciitis (inflammation of the thick tissue on the bottom of the foot).
He’ll team up with leading ABL rebounder Rashad Jones-Jennings and that will make life extremely difficult for the Dragons.
“Singleton is a lot like Chris Charles (of Chang Thailand Slammers) ... but a lot stronger,” said Dragons coach Ariel Vanguardia.
“I saw a few videos of Singleton and he looked very impressive. We have to keep him out of the paint or he’ll destroy us.”
The good news for Dragons is that Gavin Edwards and Moala Tautuaa appear to be hitting form at the right time, with the pair scoring 22 and 17 points respectively against the Beermen in their last match.
Tautuaa should be fired up for the match as it was his dunk miss in the dying seconds that handed the Slingers a 68-67 win the last time the teams met.
“I know I let my team down in the last game ... this time I’ll be fully focused and you can guarantee that I won’t miss such crucial dunks again,” said Tautuaa.