2013 ASEAN Basketball League Roundup: January 25-27, 2013

The Chang Thailand Slammers finally broke through the win column even as the Saigon Heat and the Indonesia Warriors continued their winning ways early in the 2013 season of the ASEAN Basketball League.

Thanks to the double-double efforts of Chris Charles and Froilan Baguion, the Slammers finally notched a W at the expense of the Slingers, who fell to 1-1. Charles scored 16 points and collared 16 rebounds on top of 7 blocks to lead the Slammers, while Baguion added 15 markers and 13 assists in easily his best performance thus far. Chang Thailand led practically the whole way, and they managed to stave off a fourth quarter run by the Slingers, who were led by Kyle Jeffers’s 18 points, 10 boards, and 4 blocks.

One day after, the Indonesia Warriors repeated over the Westports Malaysia Dragons, 79-72. Chris Daniels and Steven Thomas combined for 35 points, 25 rebounds, and 5 steals for the Indons, who now moved to a tie for third place with a 2-2 slate. Jerick Cañada, Mario Wuysang, and John Smith all scored at least 10 points to backstop their imports. After a strong 2-0 start, the Dragons fell into a tie for third place with their tormentors. Gavin Edwards shot 9-of-11 from the floor to finish with 20 points and 11 rebounds, while Shee Fai Loh added 14 points in the losing cause.

Meanwhile, at the Tan Binh Stadium in Vietnam, the Heat upset the heavily favored San Miguel Beermen, 92-89, thanks to a big fourth quarter splurge. The awesome twosome of Dior Lowhorn and David Palmer paired up for 53 points and 24 rebounds to spearhead the home squad’s charge, while Pinoy import Jai Reyes lit up the board with 22 markers, 4 dimes, and 2 swipes. This win propelled the Heat atop the standings at 3-1, while the Beermen absorbed their first loss of the season after their opening week victory. SMB lost despite having 6 players finish in double-figures, led by Gabe Freeman’s 16 points and Brian Williams’s 14 markers. Williams also grabbed 16 rebounds in a herculean effort for the visitors.

David Palmer drives past Brian Williams as the
Heat torched the Beermen in Vietnam.

Game Recaps:
After earning a double-digit lead, the Chang Thailand Slammers fought off a late JobStreet.com Singapore Slingers charge to secure their first win of the season. Jun Cabatu was not able to send the game to overtime and the Slammers survived the Slingers 65-62.

Chris Charles had his second straight double-double with 16 points and 16 rebounds, followed by Froilan Baguion with 15 points and 13 assists, while Michael Earl added 10 points for the Slammers.

Both the Slammers and the Slingers were shooting the ball above 50% in the first quarter. A 7-0 run capped off by a basket from Baguion at the end of the first quarter help the Slammers secure a 22-19 lead going into the second quarter.

The Slammers' scrappy defense held the Slingers to only 3 points for five minutes before halftime. A field goal from Charles before heading into the locker room gave the Slammers a 38-34 lead.

Pairach Sekteera made a three-point play off a nice pass from Baguion to spark an 11-2 run in the third quarter. Back to back baskets from Earl capped off the run to give Slammers their biggest lead in the game at 55-41. But Cabatu and Desmond Oh quickly scored five points to get the Slingers within a single digit point difference going into the final quarter.

The Slingers defense was solid in the fourth quarter as they held the Slammers to only four points for more than 7 minutes. Kyle Jeffers put the Slingers back within striking distance with a three point play, shaving the Slammers lead to 59-57 with 2:31 left.

Down by one with 1:26 left, the Slingers forced the Slammers to commit a 24 second shot clock violation. After making a key stop, the Slingers were unable to capitalize as they gave the ball away to the Slammers due to a backcourt violation.

With under 30 seconds left, the Slingers were forced to foul the Slammers. Baguion, a veteran point guard in the league, stepped up to the free throw line and calmly made both shots. The Slingers had two chances to send the game to overtime, unfortunately Cabatu's pair of three point tries did not go down.

The Slingers were not able to shoot the ball well after the first quarter as they finished with a 33% field goal average. Jeffers led the Slingers with 18 points and 10 rebounds while Cabatu added 13 points. Rashad Jones-Jennings also recorded a double-double with 12 points and 12 rebounds for the Slingers who were playing without one of their local stars Wong Wei Long.

Kyles Jeffers tries a sky hook over the defense of
Thailand's Chris Charles.

A sold out Tan Binh Stadium rocked tonight as the Saigon Heat escaped with an 92-89 win over the San Miguel Beermen.

Dior Lowhorn led the Heat with 27 points and 12 rebounds, David Palmer added 26 points and 12 rebounds and Jai Reyes added 22 points for the Heat who are now the number one team in the ABL with 3 wins and 1 loss.

Val Acuna and JR Cawaling provided the Beermen with scoring off the bench in the first half. Acuna and Cawaling combined for 18 points after making all of their 7 shots. Both teams exchanged baskets at the end of the second quarter until a put back from Gabe Freeman and a dunk from Acuna gave the Beermen a 46-39 lead. The Heat immediately answered with a three-point play from Palmer which changed the score to 46-42 for the Beermen at halftime.

The momentum started to go the Beermen's way in the third quarter. Asi Taulava made two impressive plays to spark a Beermen run. Taulava had a dunk, then blocked Lowhorn on the next possesion and Chris Banchero capped the run with a three-point play to give the Beermen a 62-52 lead.

Palmer made a sky-hook to give the Heat a 71-70 lead in the fourth quarter but the 6'10'' center had to go to the bench with 7:33 left after picking up his fourth foul. Then Lowhorn and Reyes stepped up with back to back threes which gave the Heat an 82-76 lead.

The Heat had trouble securing rebounds late in the game. Brian Williams took full advantage of it by scoring on a put back and Freeman helped the Beermen to pull within one point after making a tough lay-up.

Palmer then hit a pair a free throws which gave the Heat an 88-84 lead with 1:36 left. Then Banchero had a chance to get the Beermen within two on the next possesion but he missed a lay-up. On the other end, Lowhorn, who grabbed 8 offensive rebounds, stretched the Heat's lead to 90-84 on a put back with one minute left.

Down by 6, the Beermen kept fighting to close the gap. Freeman made a contested lay-up and Leo Avenido hit a timely three-point shot which shaved the Heat's lead to 90-89 with 24.6 seconds left.

Palmer was fouled out after he committed a foul to stop a Beermen break off a Heat turnover. However Freeman was unable to bring the Beermen on top after missing a running hook shot with 6 seconds left in the game.

Reyes was clutch for the Heat by making two crucial free throws to put the Heat up 92-89. Freeman had a chance to redeem himself but his running three-point shot at the buzzer was a little bit too long.

Freeman finished the game with 16 points, followed by Williams who recorded a double-double with 14 points and 16 rebounds. Eric Menk and Acuna added 12 points each for the Beermen who will host the Heat at Ynares Sports Arena next Friday, February 1st in the next ABL Friday Basketball game.

Gabe Freeman and the Beermen were not able to repel
the upset-conscious Saigon Heat.

It felt like deja vu all over again for the Westports Malaysia Dragons this afternoon at MABA Stadium. They grabbed themselves a double-digit lead against the Indonesia Warriors in the first half only to let their lead slip away as the Warriors fought back in the second half to grab a 79-72 win in front of a stunned Dragons home crowd.

Chris Daniels had a breakout game with 23 points and 13 rebounds followed by Steven Thomas who had 12 point and 12 rebounds for the Warriors, who are now on a two-game winning streak. Jerick Canada and Mario Wuysang also earned double digits as they scored 11 points apiece in this win.

The Dragons had their first double-digit lead early in the second quarter after Gavin Edwards's two handed jam and a basket from Loh Shee Fai gave the Dragons a 28-17 lead with 8:07 left on the clock.

Then Dragons then had a 6-0 run sparked by Edwards who tipped in his own miss, followed by a pair of free throws from Ooi Ban Sin and a lay-up from Shee Fai to give the Dragons their biggest lead in the game at 45-29 with 1:19 left before halftime. The Warriors did not want to go down in the double digits before the break however and responded quickly with a 7-0 run capped off by a lay-up from Richard Smith to cut their deficit to 45-36 heading into the locker rooms.

The Warriors came out looking like a different team as John Smith made back to back jumpers and Daniels made a lay-up after stealing the ball from Cedric Bozeman to give the Warriors a 54-51 lead with 5 minutes left in the 3rd quarter. The Warriors outscored the Dragons 30-13 in the third quarter.

Daniels was very active getting deflections and rebounds which helped the Warriors gain 20 offensive rebounds and forced the Dragons to have 16 turnovers which led to 19 Warriors points. However Daniels had to leave the game with 2:18 left after fouling out.

With Daniels out and the game tied at 72, Steven Thomas came up huge with a block shot on Bozeman and a hook shot over Edwards to give the Warriors a 74-72 lead with 1:20 left. Then Mario Wuysang made four free throws which secured the Warriors' win.

Edwards had 20 points and 11 rebounds for the Dragons, who were unable to make a field goal in the last three minutes. Shee Fai had his best game of the season with 14 points and Bozeman finished with 13 points for the Dragons.

Warriors' head coach Todd Purves credits team effort for this win. "We pride ourselves on mental toughness and defense. We couldn’t make any shots in the first half but our defense stayed consistent. It was a great team effort and the overall team deserves a credit," said Purves in the post-game interview.

Jerick Cañada tries to evade Ban Sin Ooi by using
a Steven Thomas screen.

Source: Game recaps were compressed and compiled from AseanBasketballLeague.com.

Images: All images are from AseanBasketballLeague.com. 
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