Ethan Switch - Saturday, 17 February 2007
No water on the water gate makes it a gate of dry illusion. One where dashing back and forth is not for the slippery of feet. Whatever lands on the rock with the back of the skull is best.
Sydney Kings spread out against the Singapore Slingers. Numbers, shooters, attention to detail. Keeping up with the up keep and the visitors from another city, but not entirely of another country, hold on level par with both the hold and block of the hosts. 21 to 20 with the Kings up a single digit.
Blasting caps underneath the seats are at a high point with the new fill-in game announcer. Accordingly, with the short change of his sit in; lack of knowledge about the game, the kingdome, NBL in general, state of the opposition, the nicknames, the times to shut up... the list continues a little more. Using the microphone to elicit crowd involvement is one aspect that needs serious fine tuning. Thudding the mike in hand once or twice to underline and emphasise the clap-clap is a novelty. Beyond, it's a crutch which scratches the scabies off the uglies.
Aunty Jack, Mike Helms, carries the heavy paws of the Slingers as his moves across the floor are flowing with the points. Russell Hinder and Jerome Beasley counter with their dominance of intention and collection from the field into baskets. 51 to the Kings as the Slingers start slipping away on 39.
DJ Nino Brown on the circular things playing what other people sing takes the half-time entertainment to the floor. A hive of five fluid dancers from Seven Scenes. Limbering up their joints they snap the hip hopping atmosphere drenching with corn rows from the game announcer. Who, as it turns out, is now the emcee for the whole shebangabang and laps up the pseudo attention. It's really all on the dancers with the jockey as support and the announcer as a gnat.
An unsigned artist by the name of what possibly passes as "Pegga" or such, smoothly fills up the void in the wake of the dancers and the set. Sadly, it's not quite "Hot" enough as her performance is more begging for a contract than living it up.
Third up and the Slingers still fall behind Helms, a power up with Ben Knight and it's a sizeable effort toward a challenge. Ed Scott and Hinder have other plans at the sound booth and clear fell a swag of jungle with the continuing obliteration. There's plant life, drowning, and all that crass. Kings working their long arm as the Slingers stew on 57, twenty behind.
Man with the mike loves the sound not only of his own voice as he chants incorrectly, but as he thuds the muff. "Syd-ney. THUD THUD THUD. Syd-ney. THUD THUD THUD." Overdose on crack, rubbing it hard into the gum line where the jack is straight up and there's no need for the wait. So much so that he continues on with the belief that the chant on the D is "Defend Defend." All the while the Kings army are shouting "Defence Defence." Pays to watch a game at least once before calling it.
Healthy working margin continues into the fourth. Cameron Tovey steps it up for the Kings as the spread thins out. Still, there's not much stopping the work of Helms who is magic from anywhere outside the key. Big points for big hair. Massive hair actually. Beasley is the close rival and the two are what leaves the shaven in the glistening light. Slight elation comes in the call of Koh Meng Koon. Short of a pocket and his contribution is off the board.
Singapore Slingers no match against the Sydney Kings. One sided tipping and the end result is 102 to 76. Everybody deaf is a winner for the night at least. Cash the cheque, it's game over. Walk home in the rain.
Kings end the regular season on the fourth rung of the NBL Championship ladder for 2006/2007.