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KL Dragons' Simeon Lepichev (left) scored 16 points against the Singapore Slingers in today’s Asean Basketball League match. KL Dragons won 77-68 at the OCBC Arena in Singapore. PIC COURTESY OF KL DRAGONS
KL Dragons' Simeon Lepichev (left) scored 16 points against the Singapore Slingers in today’s Asean Basketball League match. KL Dragons won 77-68 at the OCBC Arena in Singapore. PIC COURTESY OF KL DRAGONS

KUALA LUMPUR: The KL Dragons survived another gruelling physical encounter as they scored an impressive win over the Singapore Slingers in the Asean Basketball League (ABL).

The Dragons silenced the crowd at the OCBC Arena once again as they came up tops with a 77-68 victory in Singapore today.

It was the Dragons’ second away win over the Slingers after showing up their bitter rivals with 79-68 success on Feb 14.

The Dragons, however, still smarting from an 88-87 defeat to the Slingers on Feb 16 showed that nervousness as the home team, powered by the 2.12m Anthony McClain, stormed into a 20-17 first-quarter lead.

The Dragons, however, made adjustments to counter McClain’s threat and responded in style as they bounced back to lead 39-36 at halftime.

In the third quarter, the Slingers kept pushing for an advantage but the Dragons’ defence didn’t budge.

And the visitors found their breakthrough in the fourth period as their intense defence lockdown eventually overwhelmed the Slingers.

Amir Bell recorded 18 points for the Dragons while the big men combination of Will Artino and Simeon Lepichev both showed up with 16 points and nine rebounds each.

For the Slingers, Marcus Elliot netted 21 points and one-time ABL world import MVP Xavier Alexander finished with 20 points.

“It was a physical game against the Slingers, as expected. But today our defence in the paint was the key to victory,” said Dragons coach Jamie Pearlman today.

“When we were able to secure defensive rebounds, we were able to run the floor and put a lot of pressure on their rim.”

With the win, the Dragons now move up to fourth in the standings with a 9-7 record and are in a good position for the playoffs.

They host league leaders Mono Vampire of Thailand on March 1.

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