2013 ASEAN Basketball League Roundup: February 5-8, 2013

The Singapore Slingers held on to prevail over the Malaysia Dragons, while the Indonesia Warriors extended their winning run at the expense of the San Miguel Beermen this past week in the ASEAN Basketball League.

The Slingers evened out their win-loss record at 2-2 after narrowly beating the Dragons at home, 68-67. Kyle Jeffers was his usual imposing self, tossing in 24 points to go along with 13 rebounds, 6 assists, 3 steals, and 1 block. Local star Wei Long Wong continued to impress with 13 points on the strength of 3 triples, while Pinoy import Don Dulay contributed 10 markers.

Don Dulay stepped up as the Slingers kept
the Dragons at bay.

The Dragons couldn’t complete their comeback as they were outrebounded, 45-33. Cedric Bozeman led the way with 16 points, 6 boards, and 5 assists, while Gavin Edwards compensated for his 4-of-10 shooting with 13 rebounds. Fil-Tongan Moala Tautaa added 12 markers, while Malaysian sniper Shee Fai Loh canned all four of his treys to end up with 14 points. Malaysia has now dropped its fourth game in six tries, while Singapore is in a tie for third with the Beermen.

Speaking of the Beermen, they continue to be erratic in the new season, losing to the visiting Indonesia Warriors even after erecting a 13-point lead with about 7 minutes left in the game. Mario Wuysang caught fire for Indonesia, totaling 20 points on 4-of-8 shooting from rainbow country. He also dished out 4 assists against just one turnover. In contrast, SMB’s own PG, Chris Banchero, struggled with only 9 points on 3-of-8 FG shooting.

The import battle was won by San Miguel’s pair of Gabe Freeman and Brian Williams, who combined for 55 points, 20 rebounds, and 8 assists, but even their huge production wasn’t enough to earn a third win for SMB. The Warriors had four other guys who finished in double-figures: Chris Daniels with 18 points and 12 boards, Steven Thomas with 17 markers, Jerick Cañada with 18 points and 7 dimes, and, lastly, John Smith with 16 points and 4 triples. Indonesia zooms to the top of the standings with a 4-2 card, while the Beermen slide to a tie for third with Singapore.

Game Recaps:
It was a wild finish at the Singapore Indoor Stadium tonight as the Westports Malaysia Dragons visited the JobStreet.com Singapore Slingers. Both teams needed the win, and the Dragons managed to orchestrate a come back late in the fourth quarter, but the Slingers hung on to earn themselves a 68-67 win.

Kyle Jeffers led the way for the Slingers with 24 points and 13 rebounds, Wong Wei Long added 13 points and Rashad Jones-Jennings dominated the boards with 18 rebounds.

The Dragons came in to the game with a rebounding problem. It was the same tonight as the Slingers took full advantage and stayed one step ahead under the rim throughout the game. The Slingers grabbed 25 offensive rebounds which led to 19 second chance points by the end of the game.

"We have to figure out a way to get those rebounds and loose balls," Dragons' head coach Ariel Vanguardia said after the game.

The Slingers earned their biggest lead in the game early in the third quarter. Jeffers finished a two-handed monster jam off a nice bounce pass from Don Dulay followed by a three by Wei Long which gave the Slingers a 47-33 lead.

Down 55-44 early in the fourth quarter, The Dragons gained some momentum as they made a 10-2 run to close the gap. It was sparked by a dunk from Edwards followed by a three from Guga capped off by a put back from Moala Tautuaa which helped the Dragons cut their deficit to 57-54.

Tautuaa then made a contested shot under the rim with minutes left on the clock to tie the game at 59 all. Just as things started to go the Dragons way, one of their key players Cedric Bozeman suffered an injury and had to be supported off the court. Bozeman had been trying to establish a position on the baseline when he suddenly fell to the ground holding his left knee. Bozeman tried to return to the game after few a minutes but then decided to sit the rest of the game out.

The Slingers also had injury problems in the final minutes. Slingers' guard Don Dulay went down at his end of the court. Desmond Oh then collapsed clutching his abdomen and was stretchered off the court. Both Dulay and Oh were unable to finish the game.

Despite Bozeman’s exit, the Dragons had a chance to tie the game after Tautuaa came up with an important steal mid-court and a chance at an open dunk. Unfortunately, Tautuaa's dunk rimmed out with 15 seconds left. Cabatu then secured Slingers' second win of the season with two clutch free throws at the end.

With this loss, the Dragons are on a four-game losing streak. Bozeman finished the game with 16 points, Loh Shee Fai had 14 points and Tautuaa added 12 points.

Malaysian NT mainstay Guga Batumalai tries to
drive past Don Dulay.

The Indonesia Warriors successfully rallied after a 13 point deficit in the fourth quarter to extend their winning streak to four games after a big 98-96 win over the San Miguel Beermen in overtime earlier tonight.

Wuysang firmly made his case for this season’s best local player award in this game as he hit big shot after big shot and led the Warriors with 20 points at the end of the game. Chris Daniels recorded his sixth straight double-double with 18 points and 12 rebounds. Canada also contributed 18 points and Steven Thomas added 17 points for the Warriors who are now at the top of the ABL standings table.

Freeman led all scoring for the Beermen with a huge 33 points and 15 rebounds, followed by Williams with 22 points. Eric Menk added a further 10 points to their tally.

The Beermen controlled the game in the first half. A pair of lay-ups from Eric Menk and Chris Banchero gave the Beermen a 35-28 lead with 5:09 left before halftime. Wuysang then answered for the Warriors with 7 straight points to put the game at a deadlock at 35. The Beermen answered with a 12-1 run which was capped off by a left handed lay-up from Gabe Freeman which gave them the 47-36 lead at halftime.

Freeman put on a show in the third quarter and showed off his crossover skills. Freeman made a pull up jumper off a double crossover to ensure the Beermen’s lead remained in the double-digits at 57-47. The Warriors were able to close the gap before heading into the final quarter from a tip-in by Daniels, a reverse a lay-up from Canada and a pair of free throws from Thomas, which cut their deficit to 59-53 at the end of the third period.

Freeman was unstoppable on the floor going into the fourth quarter as he helped to stretch the Beermen lead with a dunk and a three-point play which gave them a 68-55 lead with 7:31 left. 

But once again Wuysang came up huge for the Warriors down the stretch. He made a nice assist to Thomas for a lay-up and then a steal which was converted into a corner three-point shot from John Smith which saw the Warriors pull within 1 with 1:22 to go. The Beermen then suffered a loss with 57 seconds to go as Chris Banchero had to leave the game after committing his fifth foul.

It was a free throw battle with under 45 seconds left in the game. Canada tied the game at 78  after splitting his free throws with 42 seconds left. Freeman then had a chance to bring the Beermen back on top but was unable to complete the basket.

After taking the 80-78 lead on Canada's free throws with 5 seconds left, the Warriors committed an unnecessary foul on Freeman which gave him a chance to send the game to overtime. Freeman showed his championship mettle as he calmly hit both free throws and, for the first time this season, sent the game into overtime.

In overtime, the Warriors took a 88-84 lead from a three-point shot by Wuysang. The Beermen quickly struck back after Brian Williams' cleaned up an Avenido miss and gave the Beermen a 91-89 lead with 1:37 to go. However Wuysang made a three with 1:22 left to give the Warriors the 92-91 lead.

It was a nerve-wrecking game for ABL fans all over the region. Down by 3 with 15 seconds left, the Beermen held possession but chose not to go for the three. Freeman had a clean look at the basket but his running floater was a bit too long. The Warriors then escaped with a big win on the road.

"We have been in this situation before and we just grind it out. We are still trying to improve from game to game. it's a big win for us against a very tough San Miguel team," says Wuysang who was the player of the game.

Both teams are back in action next Wednesday the 13th of February 2013. The San Miguel Beermen will look to bounce back when they travel to Thailand to meet with the Chang Thailand Slammers at the Nimibutr Stadium while the Indonesia Warriors host the JobStreet.com Singapore Slingers at the Senayan Indoor Stadium in Indonesia.

Chris Daniels of Indonesia rises up against the token
defense of the San Miguel Beermen.

Mario Wuysang turns the corner against the defense
of SMB's Leo Avenido.

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

Images: All images are from AseanBasketballLeague.com. 
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