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New boys out to get Slingers shot at Merlion Cup

After losing back-to-back Asean Basketball League (ABL) Finals, the Singapore Slingers are hoping a pair of potential signings will provide that winning edge.

Filipino guard Mikee Reyes and Canadian Ryan Wright have been added to the Slingers' 12-man squad for this month's Merlion Cup, which head coach Neo Beng Siang will use as an audition for the duo.

Slingers head coach Neo Beng Siang hopes Canadian Ryan Wright (above) can be the rim protector that his side need.PHOTO: INSTAGRAM/RWRIGHT1
Besides the hosts, the Sept 20-24 invitational tournament at the OCBC Arena features the Shanghai Sharks (China), Adelaide 36ers (Australia), Satria Muda Pertamina (Indonesia), Yulon Luxgen Dinos (Chinese Taipei), Jeonju KCC Egis (South Korea) and NLEX-SCTEX (Philippines).

Reyes, 26, averaged 12.1 points and 2.1 assists in his final year at the University of Philippines in 2014 and has played in several semi-professional leagues back home. But it is fellow triallist Wright that Neo is pinning his hopes on.

Neo said of the 2.06m centre: "He's quick and athletic, so hopefully this can help our team which plays the running game."

With last season's starting centre Justin Howard, 36, out of contract, Neo sees the 30-year-old Wright as an ideal replacement.

Wright played in the 2006 National Collegiate Athletic Association finals for the University of California, Los Angeles - albeit in a limited role - and was a starter for Hungarian top division club Szolnoki Olajbanyasz.

Neo said: "Our players will feel more confident to have a rim protector."

Both Reyes and Wright will arrive in the coming days.

Slingers captain Desmond Oh is looking forward to integrating them into the team.

He said: "We always do our best to help the imports out, both on and off the court."

Added forward Leon Kwek: "After seven seasons, we and Saigon Heat are the only teams that have not won a championship yet.

"Hopefully Ryan is going to come in, play at a high level and deliver our first championship."

Author: Ian Kiew, Straitstimes.com
Source: http://www.straitstimes.com/sport/basketball/new-boys-out-to-get-slingers-shot-at-merlion-cup

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