2013 ASEAN Basketball League Roundup: February 23-24, 2013

The San Miguel Beermen bounced back yesterday after getting beaten by the Dragons last weekend. SMB subdued the Singapore Slingers to grab solo second spot right behind league-leading Indonesia in the 2013 ABL. A day prior, the Dragons themselves won back-to-back after defeating the Chang Thailand Slammers on the road.

Sammy Monroe, playing in only his second ABL game, poured in 32 points to go along with 8 rebounds, 4 steals and 2 blocks to help lead the Dragons in their fourth win this season. Gavin Edwards added 12 points, 5 rebounds, 4 blocks, and 3 steals. On the other end of the floor, imports Chris Charles and Michael Earl combined for 25 points and 21 rebounds to lead the Slammers, who remained at the bottom with a 2-win 6-loss slate. Filipino import Froilan Baguion also registered 9 points and 11 rebounds for Thailand.

Moala Tautaa skies for a jam during the
pre-game shootaround.

In the weekend’s other game, San Miguel was led by Chris Banchero’s 16 points, 4 rebounds, 5 assists, and 4 steals as the Beermen upended the Singapore Slingers. Former Philippine NT big man Asi Taulava added 10 points and 13 boards, while imports Gabe Freeman and Matt Rogers, who played in his first game for SMB, pumped in a combined 16 markers and grabbed 10 boards. Rogers blocked 5 shots as well.

The hometown Slingers lost their fourth game of the season, while SMB climbed to solo second with 4 wins against 3 losses. Kyle Jeffers was the only Slinger in double-figures with 20 points and 12 rebounds, while Rasha Jones-Jennings struggled. He shot just 3-of-13 from the field to end up with 8 points and 16 rebounds.

Game Recaps:
The stingy defense of the Westports Malaysia Dragons limited Chris Charles to only 11 points this afternoon. Sammy Monroe put on another exciting show in front of his home crowd to help the Dragons defeat the Chang Thailand Slammers 83-66.

Monroe was on fire in the first half, scoring 19 of his 32 points within the first 20 minutes. Gavin Edwards chipped in with 12 points while Moala Tautuaa recorded his first double-double of the season with 10 points and 12 rebounds. 

Monroe continued his incredible run with the Dragons with 9 straight points straight off the bat to build a 20-8 lead for the Dragons with 2:09 left in the first quarter. The Sammy Monroe show continued as he put on a shooting clinic early in the second quarter. Monroe made a smooth step back three point shot that ballooned the Dragons lead to 37-19 with 6:07 left before halftime. Then Monroe used a pick from Edwards and dished out a nice pass to Edwards for a dunk, giving the Dragons their biggest lead of the game at 46-25.

The Slammers had a chance to cut the gap within the single digits in the third quarter as the Dragons had a slow start coming out of the locker room. The momentum was shifting to the Slammers way after Jonathan Fernandez knocked down a three that trimmed the Dragons lead to 54-40. Then the Dragons’ Edwards picked up his fourth foul and had to come out of the game with 5:07 left in the third quarter.

With Edwards sitting on the bench with foul trouble, the Slammers pushed hard to close in. A three-point from Fernandez and a lay-up from Charles got the Slammers within 11 points with 4:29 left in the third quarter. The Slammers had a chance to get within a single digit again but a turnover from Kannawat Lertlaaokul led to a lay-up for Patrick Cabahug and on the next Dragons' possesion, Tautuaa made a putback jam that stretched the lead back to 15 points.

The Dragons fans definitely enjoyed the show put on by Monroe over the past two games. He capped off his fine afternoon with a nice pull up jumper from the wing and probably one of the best plays so far this season – a huge dunk off a nice alley-oop pass from Tautuaa.

The Slammers were unable to replicate their amazing performance in MABA on Ferbruary 2nd. Michael Earl led the Slammers with 14 points, followed by Charles with 11 points and 12 rebounds. Froilan Baguion added 9 points and 11 rebounds for the Slammers who were missing Chanachon Klahan and Darongpan Apiromvilaichai this afternoon.

Justin Melton and Froilan Baguion had a
great match-up at PG.

Pairach Sekteera and the Slammers got
slammed by the Dragons.

Chris Banchero continued to do damage for the San Miguel Beermen as he scored 16 points to help the Beermen grab a 66-55 win over the JobStreet.com Singapore Slingers at the Singapore Indoor Stadium this afternoon.                                                                                                                      

"I have been very happy with Banchero in the last three games. He has been very focused and has played very well. He has been doing a great job of directing the team," said Beermen's head coach Leo Austria after the game.

The Beermen came into this game with a record of 3 wins and 3 losses. Banchero admitted that this game was very important for them. "We really needed this win today. We played great defense the whole game and we played hard the whole game. It was a great team win," said Banchero.

The Slingers, despite this match-up being their second in three days, looked promising earlier on as they took a 7-2 lead on a pair of free throws from Kyle Jeffers. The Beermen quickly responded with a 13-2 run capped off by a three-point shot by Matt Rogers and a lay-up from Asi Taulava.

In the third quarter, the Slingers were able to cut their deficit to 42-36 on a put back by Jeffers. However, The Beermen again responded, this time with a three point play from Banchero and a lay-up from JR Cawaling which gave the Beermen a 47-36 lead with 5:30 left in the third quarter.

The Beermen extended their lead to 57-42 at the start of the final quarter after Eric Menk scored a lay-up. The Slingers had a tough time scoring the ball in the fourth quarter and the Beermen held them to only 4 points in the first 6 minutes. Freeman closed the Slingers hope with a corner three-point which gave the Beermen a 63-47 lead with 2:57 left.

With this win, the Beermen move up to the second position in the standings table with a record of 4 wins and 3 losses. Asi Taulava chipped in with 10 points while Freeman, Menk and Rogers added 8 points each. Rogers, in for the injured Brian Williams, was very solid defensively as he blocked 5 shots.

The Slingers had a chance to make a run in the fourth quarter but they were not able to take care of the basketball and turned the ball over 6 times in the first 5 minutes of the final quarter. Shooting 22% from the field did not help the Slingers either. "Our shooting percentage was so bad which allowed the Beermen to collapse on our bigs," said coach Neo.

After two big performances, Rashad Jones-Jennings was held to only 8 points today but he managed to grab 16 rebounds. Jeffers led the Slingers with 20 points and 12 rebounds. Wong Wei Long and Jun Cabatu chipped in 8 points each.

Singapore's Kyle Jeffers tries to drive past SMB's new import, Matt Rogers.
(image by Patricia Paule)

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

Images: Images are from AseanBasketballLeague.com and the KL Dragons’ Facebook page. 
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