Sunday, 27 July 2014 | MYT 6:49 PM
Dragons earn scrappy first win of the season against Slingers
Singapore Slingers' Kyle Jeffers attempts to dribble past the Westports Malaysia Dragons' Justin Knox at the OCBC Arena.
PETALING JAYA: It wasn’t pretty but Westports Malaysia Dragons earned their first win of the season after beating Singapore Slingers 65-57 in the Asian Basketball League at the OCBC Arena in Singapore.
Four-time semi-finalists Dragons headed into Saturday’s match desperate to get off the mark after losing 82-88 to HiTech Bangkok City in their opening match on July 16.
And they hit the ground running in the first quarter, leading by 10 points at one stage before the Slingers fought back to narrow the deficit to 16-19.
A scrappy second quarter followed as the Dragons only scored five field goals as they settled for a 29-25 half-time lead.
The Slingers, who only hit 20 of 77 shots in the entire game for a low percentage of 26%, kept themselves in the running by converting 14 of 18 free throws.
The Dragons were also not much better from the field, scoring just 28 of 68 attempts, but they held on in the fourth quarter as the tired Slingers’ defence eventually gave way.
Filipino-Tongan power forward Moala Tautuaa had his best game for the Dragons to date, converting 21 points and grabbing nine rebounds.
American centre Justin Knox also asserted his influence with 15 points and 18 rebounds while Loh Shee Fai also impressed as a starter with 10 points.
The downside for the Dragons was a quiet performance by Chris Eversley. The 2m forward, who had 31 points against Bangkok City, could only manage 11 points.
The Slingers responded through the efforts of Hassan Adams and Ng Han Bin who had 12 points apiece.
The Dragons will play their next match at home against 2012 champions Indonesia Warriors on Aug 2.