2013 ASEAN Basketball League Roundup: March 1-8, 2013

The San Miguel Beermen and the Indonesia Warriors got some separation from the rest of the field after contrasting wins to start the month of March in the 2013 ASEAN Basketball League.

The Beermen went 2-0 this past week, beating the Westports Malaysia Dragons last Wednesday and the Indonesia Warriors just last night. Chris Banchero did really well in both games, averaging 20ppg while also registering 4rpg, 3spg, and 2.5apg. He was backstopped by one-time import Matt Rogers against the Dragons. The former PBA import scored 21 points to go with 10 rebounds. Rogers didn’t play against the Warriors, however, as Brian Williams returned to action. Williams recorded 11 points, 8 rebounds, and 2 blocks against Indonesia, while seldom-used JR Cawaling stepped up with 16 markers including 3 triples. The Beermen are in solo second right now with 6 wins against 3 defeats.

Matt Rogers (R) of SMB goes up against
Moala Tautaa (L) of the Malaysia Dragons.

Despite the loss, the Indonesia Warriors remained all alone in first place. They actually went 1-1 this past week, beating the Chang Thailand Slammers two days before losing to SMB. Steven Thomas had a beastly double-double with 16 points and 15 rebounds, but it was the heady play of Christian Sitepu that really sparked the Indons’ seventh straight win. Sitepu tossed in 15 points to go along with 4 rebounds, 2 steals and 1 block in one of his best ABL games ever. The Warriors are idle with a 7-3 slate.

The Slammers didn’t come out of the week complete losers, however, as they did beat the Saigon Heat last March 1. Dior Lowhorn’s 34-point performance for Saigon was not enough as the Slammers shot much better from the field and won the battle of the boards. Chang Thailand made more than 45% of its FGs while also outrebounding the Heat, 43-38. Import Chris Charles led the way with 22 points and 17 rebounds, while Froilan Baguion added 16 points, 12 assists, 7 rebounds, and 4 steals. Thai local Wutipong Dasom continued to be impressive with 16 markers and 7 rebounds while shooting 6-of-10 from the floor. Dasom is in the running for the Best Local Player of the Season citation.

Game Recaps:
The Saigon Heat had difficulties controlling Chris Charles without their big man David Palmer, who was forced to sit out of this game from an injury. As a result, the Chang Thailand Slammers came to Tan Binh Stadium and defeated the home team 76-58.

Charles took full advantage in the paint as the Heat were undersized. Charles recorded his seventh double-double as he scored 22 points and grabbed 17 rebounds. Froilan Baguion also recorded a double-double with 16 points and 12 assists. Wutipong Dasom chipped in with 16 points.

The Slammers started the game aggressively with a 13-0 run capped off by a basket from Dasom and a tip-in from Charles. The Heat were not able to score in the first 4 minutes of the game. Dior Lowhorn tried to carry his team in the first quarter and scored the first 16 points for the Heat. A lay-up from Minh Trieu at the end of the first quarter trimmed the Slammers' lead 21-18.

The Heat were able to get within two points early in the second quarter after Lowhorn hit a three-point shot. Baguion answered with two shots from behind the arc which stretched the Slammers’ lead to 35-28 with 3:05 left before halftime.

It was too much Charles for the Heat in the fourth quarter. Without Palmer under the Heat rim, Charles dominated the paint. A tip-in and lay-up from Charles started an 8-0 run which was capped off by a dunk from Michael Earl to help the Slammers baloon their lead to 64-47 with 7:28 left in the game. Then Charles made a left handed lay-up and tabbed in a pass from Baguion to give the Slammers their biggest lead in the game at 74-53 with 2:17 left.

"It was a great win for us especially playing in a very tough environment. The fans in Saigon are the best basketball fans in the world," said Slammers' head coach Joe Bryant after the game.

Apart from Lowhorn, the other Heat players were not able to reach double-digits in scoring. Lowhorn finished the game with 34 points and 7 rebounds. Phillip Morrison added 7 points and Larry Tieu chipped in with 6 points.

With this win the Slammers ended their three-game losing streak. They will travel to Jakarta, Indonesia to take on the defending champions the Indonesia Warriors on Wednesday March 6th at Tennis Indoor Senayan for the 1900hrs local/2000hrs HKT tip-off.

Dior Lowhorn could not tow the Heat to a W
over the visiting Slammers.


The San Miguel Beermen welcomed the Westports Malaysia Dragons at Ynares Sports Arena for the first time this season earlier today. The Beermen put up a strong performance that earned them the 77 to 66 win.

The Beermen were without import Gabe Freeman, who served his one-game suspension in this match-up. Chris Banchero and Matt Rogers stepped up with monster games and finished with 21 points apiece. Rogers also recorded 10 rebounds for his first double-double of the season.

The Dragons pulled ahead first and grabbed the biggest lead in the first quarter on a three pointer by Ooi Ban Sin with 2:34 on the clock. The Beermen’s Ricardo Cawaling and Matt Rogers immediately answered with back to back threes which cut the deficit to just one. The Beermen trailed by only one point heading into the second quarter at 19 to 20.

The Beermen began their ascent in the second quarter with a 7-0 run capped by another three from Cawaling. The Dragons were only able to get on the scoresheet close to the mid-way point from a basket by Gavin Edwards that brought them in at 22 to 27. A pair of free throws by Tautuaa sliced the deficit to just 3 points but Leo Avenido immediately put in a basket to give the Beermen back a 5 point lead. A huge three from R.J. Rizada increased the gap between the teams to 36-28 with two minutes left until the half. In the dying seconds, a Justin Melton steal off Banchero which he converted brought the Dragons back to within six points as the halftime score read 36 to 30 for the Beermen.

Avenido started off the second half with a basket, setting the pace for the Beermen who pulled away with a 9 point lead at 44 to 35 off a Banchero free throw with 7:36 still left in the third quarter. Rizada then sank a three at the mid-way point and increased the Beermen lead further at 49 to 38. The Dragons struggled from the field and despite closing the quarter with a pair of free throws from Monroe and a shot by Edwards, trailed 46 to 57 heading into the final minutes of the game.

Faced with an 11 point deficit and only ten minutes left to play, the Dragons started off the fourth period with a basket by Melton that brought them in within a single digit difference. Then Tautuaa made an important steal that was converted by Edwards which brought them in to just 4 points with 6:25 left in the quarter.

That was the closest the Dragons got however as the Beermen were unstoppable and answered immediately with back to back baskets from Thiele and Banchero. They then went on a 9 point run capped by another basket from Banchero that earned them a 15 point lead with only 2:18 remaining in the game. At the buzzer, the Beermen earned the 77 to 66 win in front of a supportive home crowd.

The Dragons struggled to find the basket this afternoon and managed just 36% from the field and 22% from beyond the arc. Edwards was still the highest scorer in the game with 22 points and 16 rebounds followed by Tautuaa’s 17. Monroe and Melton were limited to a combined 18 points. 

Chris Banchero was too good against the Dragons.

Leo Avenido (L) tries to catch up to the
driving Sammy Monroe (R).


The Indonesia Warriors looked no worse for wear after their 19-day break as they extended their winning streak to seven games tonight following their 69 to 60 win over the Slammers. The Warriors have now matched their longest winning streak from the 2012 season.

Steven Thomas led the Warriors with 16 points and 15 rebounds. Christian Ronaldo "Dodo" Sitepu  made key contributions as he chipped in 15 points. John Smith added 12 points for the Warriors.

Warriors' head coach Todd Purves was very pleased with Sitepu. "Dodo made some big shots tonight. Dodo was great. It felt great for him to knock down shots that I know he can. He's developing to be a very good player for Indonesia," said Coach Todd.

The Warriors were down by as many as four points in the third quarter. Froilan Baguion converted two charities to gave the Slammers a 41-37 lead with 9:03 left in the third. The Warriors were able to take the lead back after Sitepu made a three-point shot to make it 51-50 with 2:48 left. Then Smith, Sitepu and Canada made a basket each which stretched the Warriors lead to 57-50 at the end of the quarter.

The  Slammers lost their cool towards the end of the final quarter after Baguion fouled out of the game due to an offensive foul. The momentum then shifted to the Warriors after the Slammers' head coach Joe Bryant was hit with a technical foul. Mario Wuysang hit a pair of free throws and Jerick Canada made a three-point shot to give the Warriors' their biggest lead in the game 68-55 with 3:27 left to play.

With this win, the Warriors strengthened their position at the top of the standings table with a record of 7 wins and 2 losses. "I'm extremely happy with the win. It was a hard fought game. They have great players and great size. It was a battle the entire game. It came down to the fourth quarter and we were able to make a couple more plays than they were," said Coach Todd.
Chris Charles extended his double-double streak to eight games after posting 15 points and 13 rebounds. Baguion also recorded a double-double with 15 points and 10 assists. Darrius Brannon, who replaced the injured Michael Earl, had 12 points and 9 rebounds.

Chris Charles slams it home emphatically!

Chrsitian "Dodo" Sitepu stepped up big for the Indons.

Steve Thomas shoots one over Chris Charles.


Chris Banchero and JR Cawaling stepped up in the absence of Gabe Freeman to help the Beermen get their third straight win after tonight's 57-52 win over the Indonesia Warriors at Tennis Indoor Senayan, Indonesia. Freeman had to sit out due to a strain on his medial collateral ligament (MCL).

Banchero took over the game in the second half as he led all scoring with 19 points while Cawaling hit a big three point shot in the fourth quarter to finish with 16 points. In his return, Brian Williams contributed 11 points and 8 rebounds before he fouled out late in the fourth quarter.

It was a low scoring affair in the first half as both teams had trouble scoring the ball. A pair of free throws from Chris Daniels and a basket from Steven Thomas gave the Warriors a 23-17 lead with 1:51 before halftime.

The Warriors had their biggest lead at 33-22 after back to back three-point shots from Sitepu and John Smith with 6:52 left in the third quarter. Then it was the Banchero show as he took over the rest of the game. Banchero made two straight field goals and Cawaling hit a three to shaved the Warriors lead to 34-29 with 4:38 left in the third quarter.

The Warriors committed 6 turnovers in the third quarter which led to Banchero taking advantage in the open court. The Beermen had their first lead in the game after Banchero converted a three point play and made a lay-up to make it 36-34 with 3:04 left in the third quarter.

The Beermen stayed hot in the final quarter as they took a 45-37 lead on a hook shot from Asi Taulava and a tip-in from Williams. The Warriors had no answer for Banchero and Cawaling, both players made back to back three point shots to gave the Beermen their biggest lead in the game at 53-43 with 2:48 left in the final quarter.

The Warriors were able to cut their deficit to 53-48 on a pair of free throws from Jerick Canada with 1:38 left before the final buzzer. The Beermen's missed free throws in the final minute but the Warriors were not able to hit their shots. John Smith had a clean look from the top of the key but his three-point shot was too long as the Warriors suffered their third loss of the season.

In the loss, Chris Daniels recorded a double-double with 16 points and 16 rebounds, followed by Steven Thomas who added 11 points for the Warriors. The Warriors were limited to only 6 field goals in the second half.

JR Cawaling put up big numbers as the
Beermen subdued the Warriors.

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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