Taiwan’s Formosa Dreamers stuns Singapore Slingers in ASEAN basketball

TAIPEI (CNA) — The Formosa Dreamers put an end to a losing streak with a dramatic turnaround victory against the visiting Singapore Slingers in Changhua City Sunday in the ASEAN Basketball League (ABL).

The Dreamers toppled the Slingers 88-77 to snap their two-game losing streak in the league, after suffering defeats against the Taipei Fubon Braves on Friday and the San Miguel Alab Pilipinas of the Philippines in December.

After the away loss to the Braves two days earlier, the Dreamers started off Sunday by making use of their home court advantage, with back-to-back buckets in the paint by U.S. imports — forward Jerran Young and center Jordan Tolbert — who dominated the boards in the first half.

However, the Slingers, who were also defeated a day earlier by the Braves, answered back with U.S. import guard Marcus Ryan Elliott, who found his mark from downtown in the first half to give his team a slight edge 43-38 over the Dreamers at the half time whistle.

Dreamers head coach Kyle Julius, a former Canadian men’s national team player, said during the half time break that his team were showing signs of difficulty in execution.

“Offensively we are not sharp at all,” he said.

However, the Dreamers warmed up during the third quarter, taking the ball to the basket with fast coast-to-coast plays, while U.S. import guard Anthony Tucker fired up to hit a series of buckets from downtown.

The home crowd started to raise the roof when Dreamers forward Chang Tsung-hsien (張宗憲) found the equalizer to tie the score 56-56 after a two-point layup with just three minutes left in the third quarter.

The Dreamers offensive gave them the lead 63-60 at the end of the quarter and they never looked back.

Formosa Dreamers (Courtesy of Formosa Dreamers)
Formosa Dreamers (Courtesy of Formosa Dreamers)

The spectators were further blown away when Tucker, who recorded 14 points and seven dimes, fed Tolbert for an over-the-head showtime alley-oop dunk to bring the score to 80-64 with just over 5 minutes left in the fourth quarter.

Any hopes of a Singapore comeback looked dim as Tolbert, who recorded a double-double of 19 points and 14 rebounds for the game, delivered another monster dunk with just over three minutes left in the quarter, hiking the lead to 84-70.

Despite the Slingers putting on a defensive full-court press in an attempt to stop the carnage, the game ended 88-77 for the Dreamers.

Dreamers forward Yang Chin-min (楊敬敏) said after the game that the team has been working to improve after their last two defeats.

“The whole team knew that we had to clinch the win today,” he said.

With the result of Sunday’s game, the Dreamers advanced to sixth in the league standings, while the Slingers dropped to eighth place.

The ABL 2019-2020 season began Nov. 16, 2019 with 10 teams from East Asia and Southeast Asia competing for the title. The regular season runs until March 29, 2020.