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Singapore takes ABL Finals opener behind Alexander's "great" game

Kuk Thew/ABL
By Ivan Saldajeno

KUALA LUMPUR--Xavier Alexander flirted with a triple-double while adding a brilliant defensive display as Singapore stunned Malaysia, 84-80, in Game 1 of the ABL Finals at the MABA Stadium on Friday night.

Alexander tallied 27 points, 15 rebounds, nine assists, two blocks, and five steals as the Slingers stole homecourt advantage from the Dragons with the series-opening win on the road.

Down by double digits in the first half, Singapore came back in the second half and even led by as much as eight, 77-69, with 5:07 left in the game.

Malaysia still put up a fight as the team went on a 10-3 run capped by a triple from Calvin Godfrey with 36 seconds remaining to cut the lead to just one, 81-80.

But Wu Qingde iced the game with a three-pointer of his own as the Dragons missed their last four shots.

Justin Howard also tallied a double-double for the Slingers with 24 points and 11 rebounds along with three assists and a block.

Kris Rosales bucked a hand injury and finished with 13 points, two rebounds, three assists, and one steal off the bench.

Matthew Wright and Reggie Johnson carried the fight for the Dragons with 22 and 20 markers respectively.

The best-of-five championship series stays at the MABA Stadium for Game 2 on Sunday night while shifting to the OCBC Arena in Singapore for Game 3 and, if necessary, Game 4.

Box Scores:

Singapore 84-Alexander 27, Howard 24, Rosales 13, Wong 9, Wu 8, Oh 3, Goh 0, Kwek 0

Malaysia 80-Wright 22, Johnson 20, Brickman 17, Godfrey 10, Ma 5, Loh 3, Kuek 3, Y. Wong 0, Kwaan 0, Yeo 0

Quarterscores: 14-23, 38-49, 64-66, 84-80

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