KUALA LUMPUR – The Singapore Slingers edged over us last night in our first game of the Straits Cup this season, taking with them a 11-point lead 87-76. Taking the first blood and then drawing 5 points ahead of the Slingers in the first quarter 9-14, the Dragons were performing well against their causeway rivals early in the game, fairing much better than we did during the season opener in Singapore last November with the same team. Slingers however, were able to make a double digit lead in the 3rd quarter after Alexander Xavier sunk a jumper 59-49; but the Dragons were diligent in their offense and were able to cut their lead down in the 4th quarter down to 3 points, 64-61. Things took a turn for the worse for the Malaysian team as Slingers put in a 11-2 scoring run at 70-66, giving them a 12-point lead with 3 minutes left, 80-68. Not able to recover from that run, the Dragons did their best to close the gap but the Singaporeans were resilient, answering every shot of ours with theirs, finishing with 11 points ahead. We play them tomorrow (Sunday 24th) in Singapore for game 2 of the Straits Cup for our 18th game of the league, we would have to best them by 12 points to emerge as victors of the cup. Now 8th place of the league, we’re still running for a seat in the playoffs however Mono Vampire is steadily catching up in 7th place with 5 wins and 13 losses as opposed to our 6-11 standing. Payong.org On the bright side of things, the entire game at the Dragons’ Den was ran with a cause, to raise awareness of the refugee crisis in Malaysia. The ownership group of Westports Malaysia Dragons were donating RM300 per every 3-point shot their team made and the same amount for every point difference if we won. We raised RM2,400 from the 8 3-point shots, RM4,100 from donation of Waterboyz, RM2,000 from Privasia and RM350 from our quarter break mini-game for a total of RM8,850. However, we’re still counting the donation boxes, merchandise and ticket sales to tally up the huge sum to be donated to Payong. Payong is a charity entity that helps bridge the gap between marginalized communities and refugees in Malaysia and those parties willing to help; empowering individuals to take control over their lives through borderless learning and capacity building. We invited their ambassador, Deborah Henry to join us at the game, last night to get our fans on board with the drive. She brought with her students under her “payung” to enjoy the game with her as well. We urge all our friends and fans to follow the steps of the Dragons’ ownership and donate to the cause as well. Visit www.payong.org to learn more about their vision.