SINGAPORE - Wong Wei Long beat the final buzzer with a jumper as the Singapore Slingers beat the Westports Malaysia Dragons, 75-73, on Sunday to force a rubber match for the 2015-2016 Asean Basketball League (ABL) title.
Wei Long's basket enabled the host team to knot the best-of-five championship series at two games apiece, setting the stage for a deciding Game 5 on Saturday at the MABA Stadium in Kuala Lumpur.
The longtime Singapore national team member received a pass from Fil-American Kris Rosales before rising for the contested jumper, sending the soldout home crowd at the OCBC Arena in a frenzy.
Wei Long scored all his eight points in the last four minutes of the game despite nursing four fouls in the game, hitting a triple that put the Slingers up, 70-68. He hit another three with 2:46 left to give the hosts a five-point advantage.
Malaysia was able to cut Singapore’s lead to a point, 73-72, but Reggie Johnson could only split his free throws in the next possession to keep the score tied.
“It was a collective effort. It’s team discipline and team defense. It wasn’t all about me,” said Wong.
After struggling in Game Three, Singapore import Justin Howard bounced back by finishing with 31 points and 13 rebounds. Fellow reinforcement Xavier Alexander, who fouled out in Game Three, had 15 points and 11 rebounds for the Slingers, who started strongly for a 15-5 lead.
Malaysia’s Calvin Godfrey had 25 points and 15 rebounds while Johnson had 12 points and 12 rebounds. Fil-Canadian Matthew Wright scored 23 points in a losing effort for the Dragons.
Singapore took a 61-53 lead but Malaysia tied the count at 65 midway through the fourth before Wei Long’s heroics.
Singapore (75) — Howard 31, Alexander 15, Wu Q. 10, Wong W.L. 8, Rosales 6, Oh 3, Goh 2, Kwek 0.
Malaysia (73) — Godfrey 25, Wright 23, Johnson 12, Brickman 6, Loh 3, Kuek 2, Wong W.S. 2, Ma 0.
Quarterscores: 17-18, 39-36, 57-51, 75-73.