View Full Version : Air21 and Purefoods tests mettle of China, Australia

09-17-2008, 12:20 AM
Air21 and Purefoods tests mettle of China, Australia
By Rey Joble

SINGAPORE—Air21 against the best from Asia and Australia.

Determined to finally end a six-year title drought, the Express will have a series of tune-up matches with the Singapore Slingers, Beijing Aoshen, Sydney Spirit and Purefoods starting Wednesday at the Singapore Indoor Stadium.

With the core of the team intact and key additions made in the off season, the Express are tipped as the favored squad in this tournament.

The Express will be bannered by Mythical Five member Arwind Santos, Gary David, Wynne Arboleda, Ranidel de Ocampo, Homer Se, KG Canaleta, JC Intal and Egay Billones. They also have two new rookies on the squad—Mark Borboran and Cholo Villanueva—as well as holdovers, sophomores Marvin Cruz and Doug Kramer.

“We’re using this as a way to build our chemistry, get the new guys to be familiarized with what we’re doing and get them involved in the system,” said Air21 coach Bo Perasol, whose wards finished runner-up to Barangay Ginebra Gin Kings in the recent Fiesta Conference.

Perasol expressed high hopes for his squad, particularly now that Intal is slowly but surely rediscovering his old form.

Sidelined for most part of the season, Intal is reportedly showing his true potential in practice, which makes Perasol more excited.

The Slingers, Jason Castro’s former team, were the champion of Brunei Cup, but without the presence of the many-time Philippine Basketball League Most Valuable Player, they will have to adjust quickly to the fast-paced style of play of Air21 and a defense-oriented Purefoods squad.

Beijing Aoshen is a team composed mostly of junior squad but is beefed up by two Americans Jamel Staten and Sheldon Pace. It is handled by Paul Coughter, once considered by Air21 to handle the squad.

The Sydney Spirit team, on the other hand, is one of the toughest teams in the National Basketball League in Australia.

09-17-2008, 07:43 AM
well, thanks for the info., i didn't know air21 and purefoods is going to have exhibition matches against those teams., god bless to the 2 squads., hope they can make us and philippines basketball proud.,

as for air21, i don't think the chances of air21 to somehow dominate the tournament is not as high as what others think., while its true that they have speed to boast off, they lack the inside presence needed to match the big men of other squads(which primarily are americans)., yes, canaleta, kramer, santos and de ocampo are tall people., but they love to play on the outside., they can't play the rugged style of international basketball., that given, it is safe to assume that they might have troubles on the rebounding and field goal percentage department.,

09-18-2008, 10:30 AM
Singapore Slingers won over Air 21 last night. Score was 124-86.

09-18-2008, 03:25 PM
Oonga. My colleague who was able to watch said there was an altercation between Homer Se, Doug Kramer and a American Korean Slinger.

The guys led by 6 at one time...

09-18-2008, 05:14 PM

By JJ at 17 September, 2008, 10:11 pm

17 September 2008 – The Singapore Slingers kick started the Singapore Challenge Series in the best possible way with a dominant 38-point victory over visiting side Filipino side Air 21, defeating them 124-86 in the opening game of the Singapore Challenge Series at the Singapore Indoor Stadium tonight.

The home team got off to a slow start against the aggressive visitors, who gained a 32-28 lead at the end of the first period with some sharp shooting of 61% from the field. Air 21 power forward Homer Se contributed to his team’s lead with 8 points in the first quarter. Providing strong leadership to the Slingers was their new big man Eric Sandrin, who was the top scorer of the first period with 10 points.

The Slingers upped the defensive tempo in the second quarter to register 5 steals that sparked an 8-0 run. Singapore’s height advantage over a smaller Filipino team saw them muscle their way to a 10-point lead (53-43) in the second period with the home team grabbing 27 rebounds, 4 more than their opponents. Aided by sharp shooting from former Australian National Basketball League (NBL) player Darren Ng, who netted 13 points by the end of the second quarter, the Slingers raced to a 58-46 lead at halftime.

Continuing his fine form after the break, Darren Ng put up another 12 points in the third period to emerge as the game’s top scorer with 25 points before the start of the final period. Midway through the quarter, the Slingers unveiled their new giant, 2.21metre-tall centre Sam Harris, who thrilled the crowd with an impressive block of Cholo Villanueya’s shot that saw the ball sail high into the stands. Adding to the Slingers dominance was Eric Sandrin, who contributed with 19 points at the end of the third period, making 5-of-6 of his field goals and 9-of-10 from the charity stripe as the dominant Slingers raced to an unassailable 84-64 lead before the start of the final period.

The game belonged to the Slingers in the final period and local player Pathman Matialakan played his part with a 5-point contribution, drawing much applause from the fans. A visibly frustrated Air 21 team turned to some rough play in the fourth period that saw power forward Homer Se ejected from the bench for an attempted kick at Eric Sandrin’s head, amidst much boos from the crowd.

The home team continued their relentless assault on the basket with four of the Slingers reaching double digits at the end of the game. Darren Ng was the top scorer of the night with 28 points, while Arwind Santos led Air 21 with 24 points.

A beaming Slingers coach Gordie McLeod expressed his pleasure at the team’s superb performance. “It was great all-around teamwork from our team and it will get better as the season progresses. We made them play physical, got them to commit fouls and most importantly, our defense kept them to just 50 points in the last three quarters.”

The Slingers next face Air 21 on Sunday, 21 September at 4pm at the Indoor Stadium.

Story by Cheryl Ng

09-18-2008, 05:19 PM

Game vs Air 21 September 18, 2008
Posted by Darren Ng

We got our Singapore Challenge Series off to a great start last night with a 124-86 win over Air 21 (Box Scores and Slingers game report) (http://singaporeslingers.com/beta/index.php/2008/09/17/slingers-trounce-air-21-in-opener-of-singapore-challenge-series/)

My thoughts on the game:

Firstly, the atmosphere of the game was great. A good crowd turned out - don’t know the exact number (maybe 2500? I’ll check with Slingers), but pretty much all of the lower tier was full. There was good support for both teams, and it was a little weird being booed at your home stadium. Crowd made a lot of noise and a pretty good first up turn out.

The game started out with Air 21 catching us a little by surprise. We weren’t really expecting them to take it inside on us, our experience against the Philippine teams in Brunei was that they are smaller and quick players who like to penetrate. So after the first quarter we were down.

From then on, we tightened up our defence and were able to put some scores together to take the lead. The game kind of blew out in the end and the Philippine team started to play somewhat outside the rules. Eric was pulled to the ground and kicked in the back and head in the last quarter (yes, actually kicked intentionally). The guy was ejected accordingly, but it caused a delay in the game as both teams regrouped.

There were some pretty flashy plays from both teams - Eric, Chris Daniel and Sam Harris all had some nice dunks (Sam’s looked like he dislocated his elbow before dunking the ball on the other side of the rim - hard to explain, you had to see it!). Santos (Air 21) got a nice alley-oop (over me - I was defending the ball in a two on one) and the Philippine crowd loved it, they stood up for like 2 minutes cheering.

Our newest addition to the team, Al Vergara from the Philippines as a replacement for Jason Castro debuted with the team last night. A solid performance from him at the point, with great passing and knowledge of the game. He only flew into Singapore the day before and hadn’t trained.
Air 21 have some pretty talented individuals, but as a team I think they lost their way once they were down. We are going to dinner with them tonight, hopefully put behind any bad blood from the game last night. Should be interesting to see what kind of game it is on Sunday.
Some quick stats - Me (28pts, 6reb), Eric Sandrin (24pts, 11reb), Chris Daniel (23pts, 5reb), Blagoj Janev (17pts, 10reb). Santos had 24pts

Our team all went to Brewerkz after the game for a meal (love the Brewerkz food!) with the high/funny point being Fitzy telling us about the time he twitched during his sleep and hit himself in the head. He re-enacted it so well he actually smashed his head into the pillar behind him. I was laughing too much to ask him if he was ok - good doctor skills eh?* Oh yeh, congrats to Fitzy and Jill on their engagement too.

Nic (highway blogger) (http://asia.cnet.com/blogs/geekonomics/post.htm?id=63006412) has put up some pics during the game, check them out. Also, Jason has a great match report (http://www.jason.sg/rawks/702) here.

Next game is on Sunday 4pm, come out and support us.

09-18-2008, 10:06 PM

Game vs Air 21 September 18, 2008
Posted by Darren Ng

Our newest addition to the team, Al Vergara from the Philippines as a replacement for Jason Castro debuted with the team last night. A solid performance from him at the point, with great passing and knowledge of the game. He only flew into Singapore the day before and hadn’t trained.

aba! si Vergara import na ng singapore slingers?

09-22-2008, 06:21 AM

By JJ at 21 September, 2008, 6:53 pm

21 September 2008 – The Singapore Slingers continued their winning form with a hard-fought victory over gutsy Filipino opponents Air 21, showing their mettle by fighting back from a 16-point deficit in the first quarter to register a 98-85 win in the second game of the Singapore Challenge Series at the Singapore Indoor Stadium today.

The visitors came out roaring, led by the inspired Arwind Santos who scored 10 points on a perfect 4-for-4 from the field, including two from beyond the arc. The sluggish Slingers failed to respond to Air 21’s stifling defensive pressure and the aggressive visitors made them pay with five steals in the first quarter that gave them a 26-16 lead. Poor shooting by the Slingers did little to help their cause, as they made 25% from the field while the visitors shot a scorching 50%.

A revitalized Slingers side started to inch their way back into the game in the second quarter, as big men Blagoi Janev and Eric Sandrin stepped up their game to ignite their team’s comeback. With star shooter Darren Ng struggling under the heavy marking of the Filipinos, power forward Sandrin became the go-to man for the Slingers. Crashing the boards, Sandrin netted 10 consecutive points to keep the Slingers hopes alive. Giant Slingers centre Sam Harris provided some much needed energy off the bench with a couple of crucial blocks which led to a Slingers basket on a fast break run by Blagoj Janev off a Shane McDonald assist, as the Slingers closed the gap to 42-36 at halftime.

American forward Armein Kirkland proved to be a decisive force for the Slingers in the third quarter, as he erupted for 15 points in the quarter with several lightning-quick moves to the basket. A Kirkland assist to Sandrin in the paint gave the home team their first lead of the game at 52-50. New Slingers point guard Al Vergara boosted his team’s effort with 7 points in the quarter, while Homer Se poured in 13 points for Air 21. The quarter concluded in a thrilling fashion, with an emphatic dunk by Sandrin that saw Slingers end the quarter trailing 66-67.

That dunk set the tone for the rest of the game, as the home team revved their engine up a notch in the last quarter to outgun and outrun Air 21. Chris Daniel opened the scoring for the Slingers by sneaking in for a backdoor basket that gave the Slingers their first lead of the game at 68-67. A buzzer-beating triple by Shane MacDonald extended the lead to 71-67 and a three-point play by Sandrin, who was fouled on a basket, gave the Slingers a 74-67 lead, their largest of the game. A baseline jumper off a fake by Darren Ng gave the Slingers their first double-digit lead (91-80) with two minutes to go in the game, and the home team never looked back as they eventually went on to grab a well-deserved 98-85 victory.

Giving credit to their gutsy opponents, Slingers head coach Gordie McLeod commented, “The Filipinos pride themselves in basketball as their national sport. They know how to play the game, and if you give them possession, you are just asking for trouble. It was great for us to climb back the way we did and we had good contributions from all our players. I’m extremely proud of the way the team performed.”

The Slingers next face Filipino team Purefoods on Tuesday, 30 September at 7.40pm at the Indoor Stadium.

Story by Cheryl NG

10-01-2008, 03:04 PM
Wednesday, October 1, 2008
Slingers draw biggest ever crowd in fiery encounter with Filipino giants*

THE Singapore Slingers played host to Filipino side Purefoods Giants yesterday in their third Singapore Challenge Series match, drawing 5,500 fans to the Singapore Indoor Stadium and giving hope for their proposed Asean league next year.

It was the biggest crowd in the team’s two-and-a-half-year history, and the Slingers didn’t disappoint the home fans with a 92-84 victory in an explosive encounter.

The Slingers led by as much as 22 points at the start of the fourth quarter, but the three-time Philippine Basketball Association champions rallied and pulled to within 10 points with less than two minutes onthe clock.

That was when sparks flew.

Unhappy with the refereeing, Purefoods coach Ryan Gregorio reacted to what he felt was a bad call and one court-side fan taunted Gregorio in return. That was the cue for the partisan crowd of mostly Purefoods fans to go ballistic, shouting down and throwing rubbish at Gregorio’s tormentor.

Security personnel stepped in and the game resumed after 90 seconds. The Slingers hung on for the win.

Purefoods fans later mobbed team legend Alvin Patrimonio, who’s now the team manager, and jostled for a photo or autograph with him.

“Purefoods is one of the biggest teams in the Philippines,” explained one Filipino fan. “There is sure to be a big, explosive crowd whenever they come to play.”

The Slingers played in National Basketball League for two seasons as the only team based outside of Australia, but pulled out in July this year due to rising travel costs. They are proposing an Asean Professional League with teams from around the region.

Slingers managing director Bob Turner was encouraged by the turnout and passion on show last night.

“This clearly shows that the Singapore Slingers are moving in the right direction with the Asean league in 2009,” he said.

The Singapore Challenge Series at the Indoor Stadium, featuring 15 professional teams from around Asia and Australia, started last month and ends in February.Shamir Osman