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Monday, 28 July 2008

NBL news : Singapore Slingers next on the chopping block?


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Recognition goes to JR, On Fire for first alerting a stern warning to this news.

It appears that the Singapore Slingers may be the next casualty of this NBL off-season. After having lost the Sydney Kings and Brisbane Bullets already, due to financial difficulties, the Slingers may also be unlikely to start the 2008-09 NBL season.


According to rumours circulating on OzHoopsBoards, "it seems that the Singapore Slingers will not compete this season. The NBL is down to ten teams. With the league review rumoured to force the Slingers out in 09/10, the Singapore government may have pulled the pin early."

The Slingers were heavily funded by the Singapore government and as such appeared to be one of the stronger financially backed teams in the league. Unfortunately, with that backing walking out the door, the Slingers immediately become an unviable entity.

There is much talk of the NBL moving to Australian soccer's A-League format, with a reduction in teams to concentrate on one team in each major geographical centre. There is a suggestion that this would not have involved a team from South East Asia under the current review being undertaken.

I should note in all this, that this is only a rumour at this stage with no confirmation from either the league, nor the team. I can only hope that it is not indeed true and that something happens to change this.

Singapore were going to be an interesting team to watch this season. They have heavily recruited in the off-season and brought in a cosmopolitan mix of players to better draw the fans in. Imports Darius Rice and Eric Sandrin looked to be exciting additions who have both dabbed into the NBA. Jason Castro from the Phillipines brought a totally different element of fan base to the team and would have played well alongside new acquisition Darren Ng from Adelaide. Ben Knight, captain of the Slingers, must be the most disappointed. He has been with the team since their inception into the league and will struggle to fit his player points into another team's cap before the season starts.

Most of the Australian-born players will likely have real difficulties in getting an NBL job this season without some points cap concessions.


UPDATE
: from John Rillie, "What I'm hearing though is all player contracts will be honoured and the club is trying to play 15 exhibition games in Singapore in the upcoming months. I'm not sure what playing exhibition games will do for a franchise without a league but I do not know the Singapore market at all.This concept is interesting but knowing Bob Turner he must have something in the pipeline. Maybe the Slingers will join an Asian league? Would the Chinese CBA look at a team from Singapore?"

I wonder if they could try to get a run in the American CBA. Didn't a Chinese team do that a year or two back?






1 comment:

Nicholas Aaron Khoo for Slingers said...

Hi there, thanks for yur interest in covering the Slingers :)
The Singapore government has not removed their support from the Slingers and we were not 'chopped'.
We have opted out of the NBL - in spite of the team’s financial readiness to participate, the recent withdrawal of two key teams from the NBL has had a negative impact on our business model and led to an unanticipated increase in travel costs.
Slingers is in a strong financial position and will honour all our contracts.
The official press release will be out on our website in less than an hour.
Thanks again!