Singapore Slingers

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JobStreet.com Singapore Slingers
JobStreet.com Singapore Slingers logo
Leagues ABL (2009 - present)
NBL (2006–2008)
Founded 2006 (NBL)
History NBL: Canberra Cannons
(1979 - 2002/03)
Hunter Pirates
(2003/04 - 2005/06)
Singapore Slingers
(2006/07 - 2007/08)
Arena OCBC Arena
Location Singapore
Team colors Red, White
         
Head coach

Singapore Neo Beng Siang

titles=1983, 1984, 1988 (as Canberra Cannons)
Ownership Basketball Enterprises Pte. Ltd.
Website Singapore Slingers
Uniforms
Kit body basket in white.png
Home jersey
Kit shorts blanksidesandhems.png
Team colours
Home
Kit body basket with white.png
Away jersey
Kit shorts.png
Team colours
Away

The Singapore Slingers are a professional basketball team that currently compete in the ASEAN Basketball League. Since securing JobStreet.com as their title sponsors in 2009, the Slingers are known as the JobStreet.com Singapore Slingers for sponsorship reasons.[1]

The basketball club formerly competed in the National Basketball League in Australia. It is the first - and so far, the only - Asia-based club to compete in the NBL when they joined at the start of the 2006/2007 NBL Season.

In 2008, the club left the NBL[2] and competed in the "Singapore Challenge Series", where they played against a range of teams from the Philippines, China, Indonesia, Malaysia, India and Australia.

In October 2009, the Singapore Slingers were one of the inaugural teams that began competition in the ASEAN Basketball League. While they had played all of their home games at the Singapore Indoor Stadium since the start of the ABL, the Slingers shifted to the OCBC Arena in the 2014 ABL season after it was opened in June 2014.

History[edit]

1979 - 2002: Canberra Cannons[edit]

The franchise originated as the Canberra Cannons from 1979 to 2003, an Australian team which competed in the National Basketball League and won 3 championships in 1983, 1984 and 1988. The Cannons were one of the original ten NBL clubs, competing in the league's very first season in 1979 and they reached the championship game with a 13-5 record, but fell at the final hurdle, losing to the St Kilda Saints 94-93 in the final.

The Cannons failed to make the playoffs over the next few seasons but won their first NBL championship in 1983 where they downed the West Adelaide Bearcats 75-73 in the Grand Final. Adelaide born Guard Phil Smyth led the NBL in steals and assists.

The title was retained in 1984 when the Cannons beat the Brisbane Bullets 84-82 in the final. Smyth had another big season, being named to the All-NBL First Team.

Canberra made the playoffs for the next three seasons but would fall to the Bullets in the semi-final each time. Championship glory eluded the Cannons until 1988, when they beat the North Melbourne Giants 2-1 in a best-of-three championship series. Smyth was once again was named to the All-NBL First Team after leading the league in three-point percentage, free-throw percentage and steals, and was also named Best Defensive Player. North Melbourne exacted their revenge in 1989, beating the Cannons 2-0 in the championship series.

The Cannons failed to make the playoffs again until 1992, where they were eliminated in the first round by the eventual champions, the South East Melbourne Magic. They reached the playoffs in 1996 making the semi finals before being eliminated by the Melbourne Tigers 2-1 and again made the finals in 1997 but were eliminated in the first round 2-1 by the North Melbourne Giants.

Financial problems dogged the club in the late 1990s and the team finally succumbed to its money woes in December 2002. The club managed to play all its remaining games of the 2002/03 NBL season but were unable to hold on to their star players, including C. J. Bruton, the son of then-coach Cal Bruton and all of their imports. Canberra finished with an 11-19 record and the team was bought by a consortium that moved the team to Newcastle.

2003 - 2006: Hunter Pirates[edit]

After relocating to Newcastle, the new owners renamed the franchise the Hunter Pirates, keeping with the Cannons' maritime battlers theme. The Pirates walso started playing their home games at the 4,658 seat Newcastle Entertainment Centre.

In its first season in the NBL as the Pirates, the team came in last after winning only two games. The Pirates' coach, Bruce Palmer, was also controversially fired partway into the season and was replaced by his assistant coach, David Simmons.

In the 2004–05 NBL season, former Perth Wildcats, Australian Boomers and Australian Institute of Sport coach Dr. Adrian Hurley was employed as coach. A mostly-retooled team produced much better results, finishing 8th with a 15–17 record. The Pirates made the NBL Playoffs only to be eliminated by the Brisbane Bullets in the opening round. Hurley would quit at the end of the 2005–06 season after the Pirates were beaten by the Cairns Taipans in the playoffs.

The club had plans to move from the Entertainment Centre to a new stadium to be built at the Stockland Supercentre out at Glendale in the next few years but this never eventuated. The Pirates withdrew from the NBL at the end of the 2005/06 season due to financial difficulties and their inability to secure a major sponsor, and the club's NBL licence was put up for sale. [1] It was revealed on NBN News that, in an effort to remain in the competition, the club had considered turning itself into a non-profit organisation, thereby able to access various grants.

In the end, the Pirates' licence was sold to a Singapore consortium, who renamed the club as the Singapore Slingers and began competing in the 2006–07 season [2].

2006 - 2008: Singapore Slingers in the NBL[edit]

Armein Kirkland (in red) shooting for two points against the Darwin All Stars in the Singapore Challenge in December 2008.

Although the Slingers had relocated to Singapore before the start of the 2006/07NBL Season, they played occasional home games in Newcastle.

The re-branding of the club was the brainchild of NBL stalwart Bob Turner, who took over as the Slingers' CEO after the handover. The NBL believed the club would open the league to wider audiences and greater revenue. However, due to the distance involved, the team agreed to cover the travel expenses of all the teams which played them in Singapore.[3] The club only averaged crowds of only 3,500 at its home games during the season.

During its second season in the NBL, the National Basketball League announced on 29 July 2008 that the Singapore Slingers had decided to withdraw from the competition permanently due to the dramatic increase in international travel costs. NBL interim Chief Executive Officer Chuck Harmison said the Slingers had determined that the future focus of the team needed to be on participating in competitions within its local region in Asia rather than weekly games in Australia and New Zealand. “The Slingers have undertaken a comprehensive internal review of its entire program over the past few months in consultation with its major backer, the Singapore Sports Council,” said Harmison. “The outcome determined that the future of the Slingers lay closer to home, rather than in a league based thousands of kilometres away."[1]

2008: Singapore Challenge Series[edit]

Following their exit from the NBL, the Slingers organized and took part in the Singapore Challenge Series, a round of friendly matches played at the Singapore Indoor Stadium against a number of Pan-Asia Pacific basketball clubs such as Indonesian Basketball League champions Satria Muda Britama,[1] the Darwin All-Stars, a team made up of a majority of professional players originating from Darwin as well as Air21 Express from the PBA.

Formation of the Asean Basketball League[edit]

Kyle Jeffers (in white) takes on Chris Ellis of the Indonesia Warriors in an ABL match on 10 August 2014.

On 1 September 2009, it was announced that the Slingers would be one of six founding teams of the new ASEAN Basketball League which tipped off on October 10, 2009. The other five teams were the Brunei Barracudas, the Kuala Lumpur Dragons, the Philippine Patriots, Satria Muda BritAma from Indonesia and the Thailand Tigers. It was also revealed that the driving force behind the realization of the league was Tony Fernandes, the founder of AirAsia.

Upon their confirmation of entry in the inaugural ABL season, the Slingers announced that they had secured contracts with Singaporean players Pathman Matialakan and Hong Wei Jian for the new season, as well as Filipino point guard Al Vergara.[4]

2009: Singapore Challenge Series[edit]

As part of their pre-season training for the ABL, the Slingers organized a second edition of the Singapore Challenge in September 2013, choosing to play four single-match games against PBA sides Coca-Cola Tigers, Ginebra Kings and San Miguel Beermen, as well as Smart Gilas Pilipinas, the national basketball team of the Philippines. The 2009 Singapore Challenge saw the Slingers come away with a 2-2 record, beating the Tigers and the Beermen while falling to Smart Gilas and Ginebra.[5]

2009 - Present: Competing in the ABL[edit]

Wong Wei Long (in white) attempts a lay-up.
The Merlion Mascot of the Singapore Slingers

The opening night of the Slingers' ABL campaign saw them beat the Brunei Barracudas 87-69 on 18 Oct 2009. Homegrown talent Wong Wei Long scored a season high of 14 points in that game, sinking 4 three-pointers. Pathman Matialakan, the first Asian and Singaporean to ever play in the NBL when the Slingers were still competing in Australia, became the first local Slinger to score in the ABL with a layup. Kyle Jeffers also collected a record 20 rebounds in the same game while Hong Wei Jian wowed the crowd with two dunks in the 4th quarter.[6]

The Slingers did well in the first season of the ABL, finishing in 2nd place with a 15-10 record behind the Philippine Patriots. The team also managed to reach the semi-finals of the 2010 ABL Playoffs but were beaten 2-1 by Satria Muda BritAma.

After the 2009–10 ABL Season concluded, coach Frank Arsego announced that he would be departing the club after spending two years in Singapore.[7] Singaporean Neo Beng Siang, who was assistant coach to Arsego during the 2009–10 ABL Season, was chosen to take charge of the team from the 2010–11 ABL Season onwards.

Finishing the 2010–11 regular season in 4th place with a 7-8 record, the Slingers managed to reach the semi-finals of the 2011 ABL Playoffs for the second season straight but lost 2-1 to eventual champions Chang Thailand Slammers. The 2010-10 season also saw local star Hong Wei Jian retiring from professional basketball after tearing his anterior cruciate ligament and fracturing his knee.

The formulative years of the ABL saw local players such as Wong Wei Long, Desmond Oh and Lim Sheng Yu rising to prominence. While fans saw numerous changes in the Slingers' foreign import roster, American center Kyle Jeffers and Filipino point guard Al Vergara were regulars in the team, re-contracting with the Slingers on several occasions.

The Slingers became the first team to cross the 100-point mark in ABL history when they beat the Brunei Barracudas 102-61 on 9 January 2011. All players from the Slingers squad managed to get on to the scoreboard with Leo Avenido leading with 23 points and 4 assists. Tan Chin Hong was the player who scored the Slingers' 100th point. [8]

The 2014 ABL Season saw the Slingers secure a big name in the form of ex-NBA player Hassan Adams, who turned out for the New Jersey Nets in the 2006–07 NBA Season and the Toronto Raptors in the 2008–09 NBA Season.[9] Adams impressed the crowd with a game-high 21 points in the Slingers' season opening game against new entrant Laskar Dreya South Sumatra at the OCBC Arena but struggled with his fitness and health and played sparingly after that. After he sustained a hip injury in a road game loss to Hi-Tech Bangkok City in Bangkok, Adams sat out of the Slingers’ next three games, watching from the sidelines as the Slingers went on to win all three against Saigon Heat, Laskar Dreya and Indonesia Warriors. Adams was then officially released on 11 August 2014 after it was confirmed by the team's medical staff that he would be sidelined for 4 to 8 weeks due to his injury.[10]

The Slingers played their following game against the Westports Malaysia Dragons without a replacement for Adams in the foreign import slot and fell to a 59-85 defeat at the MABA Stadium in Kuala Lumpur. The following game saw the Slingers exacting revenge on the Dragons with a 77-68 scoreline in Singapore, a match which also saw Australian import Adam Becis turning out for the Slingers on a one match contract. Becis, who plays for the Singapore Supras in the Pro-Am Singapore Basketball League, turned out to be a shrewd signing as he scored 12 points during the game, including a three-pointer which overturned the score to 54–52 in the Slingers' favour at the end of the third period.[11]

Dior Lowhorn making his first appearance in a Slingers shirt on 22 August 2014.

On 19 August 2014, the Slingers announced that they had signed former Saigon Heat and Barangay Ginebra San Miguel forward Dior Lowhorn to fill up the empty world import slot. Lowhorn led the Slingers with 18 points in his first game but failed to stop the team from falling 54-65 to the Indonesia Warriors at home in a game which also saw rookie Russell Low score 10 points for the Slingers. A key player for the Singapore Youth National Team during the inaugural Youth Olympic Games held in Singapore in 2010, as well as the Singapore Men’s National Team which won the Bronze Medal at the 2013 Southeast Asian Games, Low was drafted into the team after completing his National Service.[12]

The next game saw the Slingers bounce back from defeat with a 77-62 win against Laskar Dreya at the Hi-Test Arena in Batam on 25 August 2014. Lowhorn chalked up an impressive 28 points and 10 rebounds while Kyle Jeffers posted 19 points. Wong Wei Long added a further 14 points for the Slingers to top off a performance which improved the Slingers' record to 6-4 and allowing them to climb up to third position in the league standings.[13]

On 31 August 2014, the Slingers ended Hi-Tech Bangkok City's undefeated run with a dramatic 78-75 victory in overtime. The game saw Dior Lowhorn score a season high 35 big points which included a three-pointer from the baseline in the dying seconds of the fourth quarter that sent the game into overtime. The game also saw Wong Wei Long finish with 16 points while Al Vergara added 11 points and 9 assists off the Slingers' bench.[14] Team captain Kyle Jeffers was injured in the same match when he fell awkwardly while competing for a rebound in the third quarter and had to be stretchered off.

The Slingers subsequently announced on 9 September 2014 that Jeffers had been placed on the injured reserve list while former Saigon Heat center Justin Howard had been brought in as a replacement. Prior to signing for the Slingers, Howard played two games in August 2014 for the Indonesia Warriors as a temporary replacement for the injured Chris Ellis.[15]

Achievements[edit]

Year ABL Regular Season Position ABL Grand Finals Position
2009-10 2nd Place Semi-Finalists
2010-11 4th Place Semi-Finalists
2012
2013
2014 TBC TBC

Seasons[edit]

Note: Statistics are correct up to 3 September 2014.

Season Finish W L PF PA Points Playoffs Awards Head Coach
2009/10 ABL Season 2nd out of 6 teams 10 5 1,133 1,081 25 Lost 2010 ABL Semi-Final Playoffs 2-1 to SM BritAma Australia Frank Arsego
2010/11 ABL Season 4th out of 6 teams 7 8 1,183 1,154 14 Lost 2011 ABL Semi-Final Playoffs 2-1 to Chang Thailand Slammers Singapore Neo Beng Siang
2012 ABL Season 5th out of 8 teams 9 12 1,536 1,536 18 Singapore Neo Beng Siang
2013 ABL Season 5th out of 6 teams 7 15 1,346 1,521 21 Singapore Neo Beng Siang
2014 ABL Season TBC 7 5 Singapore Neo Beng Siang

2014 ASEAN Basketball League Roster[edit]

JobStreet.com Singapore Slingers roster
Players Coaches
Pos. # Nat. Name Ht. Wt.
G/F 1 Singapore Tan, Chin Hong 1.85 m (6 ft 1 in) 77 kg (170 lb)
G 2 Singapore Oh, Desmond 1.78 m (5 ft 10 in) 77 kg (170 lb)
G 5 Singapore Wong, Wei Long 1.75 m (5 ft 9 in) 77 kg (170 lb)
F 6 Singapore Ng, Han Bin 1.94 m (6 ft 4 in) 86 kg (190 lb)
F 7 Singapore Wu, Qingde 1.83 m (6 ft 0 in) 83 kg (183 lb)
F 8 Philippines Rodriguez, Gayford (I) 1.88 m (6 ft 2 in) 87 kg (192 lb)
G 11 Singapore Liew, Larry (DP) 1.91 m (6 ft 3 in) 70 kg (154 lb)
PG 19 Philippines Vergara, Al (I) 1.70 m (5 ft 7 in) 69 kg (152 lb)
F/C 23 Singapore Goh, Kok Chiang Delvin (DP) 2.02 m (6 ft 8 in) 95 kg (209 lb)
F/C 32 Singapore Low, Russell (DP) 1.97 m (6 ft 6 in) 97 kg (214 lb)
F/C 33 United States Lowhorn, Dior (I) 1.95 m (6 ft 5 in) 104 kg (229 lb)
C 31 United States Jeffers, Kyle Injured (I) 2.08 m (6 ft 10 in) 120 kg (265 lb)
C 55 United States Howard, Justin (I) 2.13 m (7 ft 0 in)
Head coach
  • Singapore Neo Beng Siang
Assistant coach(es)
  • Australia Michael Johnson

Legend
  • (C) Team captain
  • (DP) Development player
  • (I) Import player
  • Injured Injured

Roster
Updated: 10 September 2014

Notable Imports[edit]

Notable Singaporeans[edit]

Coaches[edit]

References[edit]

External links[edit]

See also[edit]

Pro-Am Singapore Basketball League