2013 ASEAN Basketball League Roundup: April 17-21, 2013

The San Miguel Beermen continued to stay on top with big wins over the Saigon Heat and Malaysia Dragons, while Singapore Slingers drew at 6 wins and 11 losses with their victims, the Sports Rev Thailand Slammers, in the 2013 ASEAN Basketball League.

SMB set a record for longest winning streak after blowing out the Saigon Heat, 101-49. Asi Taulava continued to turn back time with 18 points on 9-of-12 FG shooting. Frontline partner Justin Williams contributed 11 points and 11 rebounds, while Chris Banchero and Val Acuña scored 12 and 11 points respectively. Pinoy import Oping Sumalinog led Saigon with 16 points, while Hoang Son Ly had 12.

The Beermen continued to win two days after, this time against the Westports Malaysia Dragons, 80-62. Once again, it was Taulava who led the way with 26 points on 13-of-19 shooting, while Brian Williams added 13 points and 14 boards. Local players Leo Avenido and Hans Thiele added 11 and 10 markers respectively. The visiting Dragons dropped to 9-8 after this loss. They were led by Marcus Hubbard’s 15 points, while Fil-Tongan Moala Tautuaa registered 11 markers and 12 boards.

This past Sunday, the Singapore Slingers won a controversial game against the Sports Rev Thailand Slammers, 62-56. There were some questionable calls and non-calls all throughout the match, and it was put under protest by Slammers. The official response of the ABL is that there WERE several mistakes made by the officials and Riel Banaria, the ABL’s Coordinator of Basketball Operations and Officials, reassured all parties that the necessary steps are being taken to further raise the quality of officiating and game administration. Phillip Morrison and Rashad Jones-Jennings led the Slingers with 26 and 16 points respectively. Jones-Jennings also had 13 rebounds. On the other end, Froilan Baguion had 16 points and 6 dimes to lead Thailand. He was backstopped by Kannut Samerjai’s 11 markers and Christien Charles’s 16 boards. Both teams are now tied at fourth spot in the league standings.

Rashad Jones-Jennings had a big game against the Slammers.

Game Recaps:
The San Miguel Beermen broke the ABL record for longest win streak after clinching their ninth concecutive win with a 101-49 win over Saigon Heat at Tan Binh Stadium earlier tonight. With this win, the Beermen also set the record for biggest win margin in a single game.

Asi Taulava led the Beermen with 18 points, followed by Chris Banchero with 12 points. Val Acuna, Brian Williams and Justin Williams chipped in 11 points each for the Beermen who improve to 12-3 and remain on top of the ABL standings table.

Playing with only six players and without David Palmer, who was serving a one game suspension, the Heat managed a 13-10 lead with 3:51 left in the first quarter after a three-point shot from Chris Sumalinog. However, Val Acuna sank a three-point shot and Banchero scored on a lay-up which gave the Beermen the 23-17 lead going into the second period.

Heat’s head coach Jason Rabedeaux decided to take Dior Lowhorn out after only 11 minutes. With no imports on the floor for the Heat, the Beermen took full advantage and stepped on the gas in the second quarter. Acuna and J. Williams came off the bench and provided instant offense. Acuna knocked down a three-point shot from the corner and J. Williams split his free throws, putting the Beermen up 39-20 with 4:30 left before the half.

Despite the Beermen’s 17 point lead at halftime, they continued to attack the paint and played solid defense. Taulava led the Beermen’s strike in the third quarter as he scored 10 points which included two dunks. Taulava’s dunk and lay-up gave the Beermen a 73-37 lead to put the game out of reach. In this win, all twelve Beermen players were on the scoreboard. The Beermen outrebounded the Heat 50-29 and finished with 62 points in the paint.

Chris Sumalinog led the Heat with 16 points and Hoang Son Ly added 12 points. With Minh Trieu, Larry Tieu and Jai Reyes sitting out due to injuries, the Heat’s other local players were able to get more playing time and experience in this game.

Quan Trung tries to drive against SMB's
huge frontline.

Tuan Trung and the rest of the Heat were scorched by the
hot hands of the Beermen.

The pre-game hype was all about the match-up between two of the league's elite point guards, Chris Banchero and Justin Melton. But it was 40 year-old Asi Taulava who stole the show as he scored an ABL career-high 26 points to help the San Miguel Beermen grab a 80-62 win over Westports Malaysia Dragons for their 10th straight win. The Beermen improve to 13-3 as they solidify their position at the top of the ABL standings table.                                                                           

Brian Williams finished with 13 points and 14  rebounds playing against his former team. Leo Avenido added 11 points and Hans Thiele gave the Beermen another great performance off the bench with 10 points.

It was a tight game in the first half with both teams kept exchanging the lead. Then Hubbard gave the Dragons a 32-29 lead with 2:55 left before halftime with his monster two-handed slam. However, the Dragons were a little sloppy finishing the first half which allowed the Beermen to take the lead before halftime. A pair of free throws from Val Acuna and a lay-up from Avenido put the Beermen up by one point at halftime.

Taulava decided to put the Beermen on his back in the third quarter. Taulave was dominating the paint as he scored 8 straight points against both Hubbard and Gavin Edwards. Taulava’s 8-0 run was capped with Taulava driving past Edwards to finish on the rim which gave the Beermen a 43-34 lead.

Taulava, who won the AirAsia Player of the month award for March, continued to dominate Edwards in the fourth quarter as he scored back-to-back baskets on the Dragons center to gave the Beermen a 64-54 lead with 5:33 left.

The Beermen’s defense was very solid in the second half. The Williams duo protected the rim very well for the Beermen as they both combined for 7 blocks in this game. Thiele, who has been playing well lately, put the finishing touch in this win by hitting a long jumpshot, giving the Beermen a 70-54 lead with 2:49 left.

"We want to enter the Playoffs with a great momentum. We are just preparing ourselves for the playoffs right now and playing San Miguel Basketball,” said Taulava after the game.

The Dragons’ struggled offensively in the third quarter, making only 10 field goals from 40 tries and limited to 28 points in the second half. Hubbard led the Dragons with 15 points, followed by Julius Armon and Moala Tautuaa with 11 points each. Gavin Edwards chipped in 10 points for the Dragons who are now at 9-8.

It was an intense affair at Nimibutr Stadium earlier tonight as the JobStreet.com Singapore Slingers and Sports Rev Thailand Slammers battled it out for a spot in the 2013 ABL Playoffs. In the end, Phillip Morrison stepped up for the Slingers and scored 6 huge points in the last minute to lead the Slingers over the Slammers 62-56.

The playoffs race just got more exciting as this win ties both teams up at fourth with a 6-11 record. The season series between the two are also now tied up at two apiece. Both teams will have their final meeting in the regular season at the end of the month in the Singapore Indoor Stadium, an encounter which could determine who gets the final playoffs ticket.

Phillip Morrison put in a solid performance and led all scoring with 26 points. Rashad Jones-Jennings contributed 16 points and 13 rebounds while Rashaad Singleton finished with 12 points for the Slingers.

The Slingers initially had trouble with their offense and the Slammers took full advantage. Back to back baskets from Froilan Baguion at the end of the first quarter gave the Slammers a 19-10 lead.

The Slammers continued to build their lead early in the second quarter. Chanachon Klahan gave the Slammers their biggest lead in the game at 25-12 with his basket off a nice assist from Baguion.

Struggling offensively, the Slingers then used their defense to get back into the game. The Slammers were limited to only 3 field goals and 13 points in the third quarter. Down by 9 points with 2:30 left in the third quarter, Singleton’s fade away shot sparked a 7-2 run which shaved the Slammers lead to 45-41 going into the final quarter.

Baguion extended the Slammers lead to 55-51 after he drove to the lane and made a tough running shot with 5 minutes left in the game. The Slingers then had a couple of good chances to cut their deficit but missed six straight free throws.

Despite his team struggling from the free throw line, Morrison kept his head cool as he took over the game. Morrison sank a tough three-point shot and a fade-away shot from the free throw line to put the Slingers up 56-55 with a little under one minute left.

The Slammers lost their composure with 7.6 seconds left in the game. After Kannut Samerjai was unable to tie the game at 57 with his free throw, Baguion was called for a foul on Desmond Oh. Baguion argued with the call and was hit with a technical foul. Oh and Morrison knocked down four free throws that secured the Slingers win.

Not only did they drop a heartbreaker but they also lost a chance to gain the lead for the fourth position over the Slingers. Baguion had 16 points while Samerjai added 11 points for the Slammers. Chris Charles was held to only three points but managed to grab 16 rebounds and blocked 5 shots.

Christien Charles tries to shoot over the Singapore interior defense.

Source: Game recap was compressed and compiled from AseanBasketballLeague.com.

Images are from AseanBasketballLeague.com and SaigonHeat.com.

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