Round Three of the Pro-Am SBL is upon us, with all matches due to take place at the Delta Sports Hall on Sunday, 20 December 2015.
Once again, there will be several intriguing match-ups, with questions already surfacing for certain teams.
Here’s our preview for all matches due to be played this week!
SGBasketball vs Eunos United
Are Eunos United as good as they claim to be? That must surely be the question on the team’s mind after they opened the season with two defeats.
Despite pre-season aspirations of making the play-offs, they have faltered to deceive so far. Looking disorganised on the court, they resemble a pick-up team more instead.
Captain Thaxi Silva has been struggling, averaging just nine points behind an ugly 26.7% field-goal percentage. While both Guillermo Amengual and Ignacio Borres Leonori are recording a decent 17.5 and 19.5 points, the rest of the players have virtually contributed almost nothing.
Eunos have hit just one-third of their shots so far, and have one of the highest turnover rates in the league with 20.5 per game. They will need to sort out their issues soon – perhaps by running more set-plays on the court.
On the other hand, SG Basketball will be looking to bounce back from last week’s defeat against Zeague Chargers.
However, they will have to solve their issue of an over reliance on power forward Lim Shengyu, who struggled to hit his shots in the loss. Former national team point guard Hong Wei Jian may be the answer, after he scored 26 points and dished out six assists on his Pro-Am debut.
Also, with a thin bench, their starters will be expected to make the most out of their minutes on the court; otherwise, they may be in for a long season.
GHUB Sports Club vs Zeague Chargers
Two teams with a perfect record will head into this game looking to further solidify their status as one of the leading teams in the league.
It has been a surprise from GHUB, who were expected to struggle in their first year. However, coach Aaron Teo has quietly moulded his team into a tough unit.
Behind Justin Monroe’s stellar play – the forward is among the league’s leaders in scoring (27.5 ppg) and rebounding (12 rpg) – they have quickly raced to a 2-0 league. They also have the best defensive record in the league, allowing their opponents to score just 61 points per game.
The Zeague Chargers however, will be their toughest opponent so far.
In Rodel Vaygan, they have the league’s most lethal scorer. After two games, he is averaging 39 points, including a 46-point effort against SG Basketball in Round Two.
One thing that may be worrying for them however, is the lack of a defensive anchor. They have just 1.5 blocks from two games, something that is hardly encouraging especially when they have yet to face the Supras or Falcons.
Singapore Supras vs Proform Basketball
* This game will be shown LIVE on VoxSports at 3pm
The Singapore Supras will look to roll on for their third straight win against Proform Basketball.
They have certainly shown they mean business in their opening pair of matches, dispatching the Ang Mo Kio Bravehearts 77-68, before blowing out the youthful SinKee Cesk Capital by a whopping 54-point margin.
Jemell Swafford has been a revelation this year, having made several highlight plays. He is averaging 25.5 points, converting 79.3% of his field-goal attempts. Against SKC, it appeared as though he was unstoppable – such are the problems he poses with his matchups.
For Proform, it looks like they will have to wait another round of games to earn their first victory of the season.
Despite having a team filled mostly with foreigners, they have floundered to click on both the offensive and defensive ends. They have struggled to execute their plays, while their defensive rotations is leaving a lot to be desired.
Tyrone Marshall may be averaging 15 points per game, but he’s shooting just 41.7%. Their joint top scorer, Petar Milijkovic, fares worst with a 35.7% field-goal percentage. Things might even worsen when they take on the Supras, whose roster are filled with outstanding defenders.
Tagawa Basketball vs Falcons Basketball
*This game will be shown LIVE on VoxSports at 5pm
Tagawa are enjoying their perfect introduction into the SBL so far with two wins in two, but they may be in for a rude awakening when they face defending champions Falcons.
Once again, Kannon Burrage is showing just why he was named the Most Valuable Player last year. After two games, he is averaging a cool 31.5 points, and grabbing 12.5 boards, along with three assists a game.
Michael White is also proving to be a very capable second option, making more than half his shots for 14.5 points, while he is grabbing a league-leading 14 rebounds per game. Point-guard Amir Boucena is dishing out the assists too, although his 28.6% field-goal percentage is a cause for concern.
The Falcons have largely rolled over their opponents, although for coach Zoran Visic, he wants his team to execute better and not take any possessions off, like they did against Eunos United.
On the other hand, Tagawa has been a surprise package so far. While the win over SAFSA was to be expected, their 30-point blowout of former champions Adroit was generally astonishing.
In that game, all 12 players took the court and had at least two points, with 11 making a field goal too. That performance was a perfect example for their mantra this year – to play as a team with everyone making contributions.
Yet, without a star name and go-to guy, odds are they might struggle in clutch moments. Against Falcons, it will truly be their first big test of the season.
Adroit Widodo Group vs Ang Mo Kio Bravehearts
*This match will be shown LIVE on VoxSports at 7pm
The Bravehearts will look to continue their revival when they face the winless Adroit.
It’s been a season of disappointment so far for Adroit. After a promising start to the campaign, where they lost by just three points against Falcons, they fell to a huge defeat against Tagawa.
Despite having national team shooting guard Larry Liew in their ranks, they have struggled in the offensive end.
While Liew has recorded 15.5 points, he is only making 36.7% of his shots. Their main issue has been a lack of playmaker on the team. So far, none on the team have recorded more than three assists in any game, which has hindered them greatly.
As for Bravehearts, they rebounded from the opening day defeat to Supras with a resolute win over SAFSA.
Tre Brewer, as expected, has been the main man – he is averaging 21.5 points after two games, while Tay Ding Loon is playing the role as a second option perfectly.
The only worry for last year’s finalists is the performance of Valentin Khmelnitckii. The Russian is naturally a small forward or a stretch four, but has been thrust into the starting lineup as center, mainly because he is the tallest player on their roster. As a result, his play has suffered, and he has made just one of his 12 field goal attempts this year.
Still, the Bravehearts look deep enough, and barring a miracle, Adroit looks to be unable to achieve their first win of the year.
SAFSA vs SinKee Cesk Capital
Two of the struggling teams in the league will finally get a chance to record their first victory of the season.
Both SinKee and SAFSA have struggled in their opening two matches – SinKee has the worst record in the league, with a combined 81-point margin defeats, while SAFSA have a 53-point deficit.
The two young squads, without foreign options on the team, are finding it hard to have things go their way on both ends of the floor.
However, in Don Tang, SAFSA have a sharpshooter capable of making defences pay from beyond the arc. Unfortunately for SinKee, they do not have any player capable of taking over the game, which may prove to be the difference on Sunday.
Last Modified on 18/12/2015 13:26