2013 ASEAN Basketball League Roundup: April 24-26, 2013

The San Miguel Beermen gained some distance between themselves and the second-running Indonesia Warriors this past week. San Miguel’s win over the Slammers coupled with Indonesia going 1-1 gave the Beermen a 1.5 game lead over the Warriors in the standings. The Malaysia Dragons, meanwhile, who gave the Warriors their lone loss this past week, hiked their slate up to 10 wins and 8 losses.

This past Wednesday, the Beermen beat the Thailand Slammers, 78-70, leaning on the 18 points, 6 assists, and 5 rebounds of old-man-can Asi Taulava. Other locals also came to play, with Leo Avenido and Paolo Hubalde scoring 15 and 14 points respectively. On the other end, it was Christien Charles who led the way for the Thais, scoring 16 points and grabbing 10 boards.

On the same day, the Indonesia Warriors welcomed Stanley Pringle back into the fold with a victory over the cellar-dwelling Saigon Heat, 77-63. Jai Reyes, David Palmer, and Justin Howard all combined for 52 markers to lead the hometown Heat, but even that terrific triumvirate’s production was not enough to beat the Warriors. The Indons had four guys score in the double-digits so they could move a little closer to the Beermen’s top spot. American imports Steve Thomas and Chris Daniels paired up for 33 points, while Pinoy imports John Smith and Jerick Cañada scored 15 and 14 markers respectively to underscore the Warriors’ dominance.

That dominance, however, wasn’t very evident against the Westports Malaysia Dragons last night. The Dragons, behind the 32-point explosion of Marcus Hubbard, upended the Warriors and solidified their hold on third place. Other imports Gavin Edwards, Julius Armon, and Justin Melton scored at least 11 points to backstop Hubbard, while the Warriors 20 markers from Thomas and 19 each from Pringle and Daniels.

Chris Daniels and the Warriors fell to the Dragons.

Now that Pringle is back in playing condition, it’ll be really fun to see who the best Fil-American PG will be. Pringle was the clear best last season, but SMB’s Chris Banchero has upped his play this year (get well soon, Chris!), while Justin Melton has been a revelation for the Dragons. Singapore’s Phillip Morrison is no slouch, too, so it’ll really be interesting to see who’ll be remembered as this season’s best Fil-Am playmaker. My bet, however, is on Banchero, especially if the Beermen go on to win the big one and mainly because he has the more impressive body of work.

Game Recaps:
The Beermen extended their win-streak to 11 games tonight after handing the Slammers a 78-70 loss at Nimibutr Stadium, Thailand. This win keeps them at the top of the standings with a record of 14-3.

Asi Taulava stepped things up in the final quarter and finished the game with 18 points. Leo Avenido chipped in with 15 points and Paulo Hubalde rounded up the Beermen’s top 3 scorers with his 14 points.

Leo Avenido started the game by sinking his first 3 three-pointers. RJ Rizada’s lay-up capped off a run to give the Beermen an 11-2 lead to open up the game. The Slammers answered with their own run that brought them to within four points at 12-8 only a minute later, but that was as close as the Slammers got in the first period. The Beermen pushed both ends of the court, limiting the Slammers to just 1 point for the remainder of the period to lead 28 to 12 going into the second.

16 points down, Christien Charles made a statement as he dunked to start off the Slammers scoring in the second quarter. This began the Slammers climb back into the game which resulted in Darongpan Apiromvilaichai’s three at the mid-way point, placing the Slammers back within striking distance at 24-31.

The Slammers kept it tight heading into the halftime break and limited the Beermen to just 8 points in the entire second quarter. Charles ended the quarter the way he started it, with a strong dunk, and the Slammers head into the break trailing by just 3 at 33 to 36.

The Slammers came into the second half a different team and Pairach Sekteera gave the Slammers their first lead of the game 37 to 36 with 8:46 left to play in the third quarter. After a bit of back and forth, Baguion sank a long three with four minutes remaining in the period and 3 seconds left on the shot clock to put the Slammers up 47 to 41. The Beermen were not hitting their mark offensively in the third period and were limited to just 6 points up until the final two minutes when Val Acuna and Brian Williams helped close the gap to 46-53 heading into the final period.

Asi Taulava set things up for a Beermen revival in the fourth quarter after he converted four consecutive free throw attempts that brought the Beermen to within 5 at 50-55. Paulo Hubalde also had a spectacular fourth period and his free throws at the mid-way point pulled the Beermen in to just one point at 60 to 59. Taulava then tied things up with 3:28 remaining on the clock at 64 all.

Knowing full well their streak was on the line the Beermen powered on off solid performances from Taulava and Hubalde who combined for 23 of the Beermen’s tally of 32 in the fourth quarter. In the end, Taulava’s free throws sealed the deal for the Beermen who keep their streak alive as they walk out of Thailand with the 78-70 win.

Christien Charles led the Slammers with 16 points and 10 rebounds followed by Darongpan Apiromvilaichai who recorded 12.

Asi Taulava continued to dominate against
the Slammers.

The Indonesia Warriors used a frantic start to the third quarter to pull away and beat the Saigon Heat 77-63 at Tan Binh Stadium, Vietnam.

Steven Thomas led the Warriors with 17 points. Chris Daniels had a great all-around game as he finished with 16 points, 12 rebounds, 6 assists and 6 steals. John Smith added 15 points and Jerick Canada chipped in 14 points for the Warriors who improved to 13-4.

After sitting on the sidelines for the first 15 weeks of the regular season, Stanley Pringle made his return in this game. Pringle checked in to the game with 4:44 left in the first quarter. Pringle finished with 2 points on 1 for 10 shooting in 24 minutes.

The depleted Heat team gave the Warriors all they could handle in the first half. A lay-up from David Palmer and Chris Sumalinog briefly gave the Heat a 24-23 lead with 5:36 left in the second quarter. But the Warriors immediately turned the table with their defense and answered with a 12-0 run. Daniels came up with a steal which was converted into a lay-up by Canada then Thomas scored on Palmer on the next possesion, giving the Warriors a 35-24 lead with 3:17 left before halftime.

It was all Warriors in the third quarter. Amin Prihantono sank a three-point shot to start a 11-2 run in the opening of the period. The Warriors had their biggest lead in the game, 64-41, after Canada made two pump fakes on Palmer and knocked down a bank shot. The Warriors outscored the Heat 26-10 in the third quarter.

Down 21 points heading into the final quarter, the Heat tried to make a rally. Newly recruited Justin Howard, who replaced the injured Dior Lowhorn, came in and provided the Heat with great energy. Howard made a hook shot with 2:32 left, cutting the Heat’s deficit 72-58. Unfortunately that was as close as the Heat could get. Mario Wuysang knocked down a three-point shot with 2:15 left to ensure the Warriors win.

Reyes scored 18 points and Palmer finished with 17 points. Howard had an impressive debut with the Heat after scoring 17 points and grabbing 16 rebounds. Howard will be playing with the Heat for the remainder of the season.

Chris Daniels jams one home in Saigon.

It was another wild finish between the Indonesia Warriors and the Westports Malaysia Dragons and in a moment of déjà vu the Dragons grabbed another one point win at 86-85. With this win, the Dragons solidified their position on third with a 10-8 record.

Marcus Hubbard had his best performance in a Dragons jersey in this game and finished with 32 points while shooting 60% from the field. Gavin Edwards contributed 18 points and Julius Armon also had a career night with 17 points.

The Dragons started the game slow and were scoreless in the first minutes as the Warriors grabbed a 4-point lead. Julius Armon then gave the Dragons their first lead at 7-6 at the six minute mark. A John Smith 3 put the Warriors back on top at 11-7 and the Warriors took back control to end the quarter leading 18-11.

Stanley Pringle got his first start of the season and showed little signs of ring rust as he finished the first half with 12 out of the Warriors’ 32 points. With the Dragons closing in to just 4 at 25-21, Pringle grabbed the rebound drives through traffic, draws and converts a free throw to regain the 9 point lead 30-21 with 4 minutes left till the half. With Chris Daniels and Steve Thomas forced to withdraw to the bench due to foul trouble, Dragons stage a run to close in to 35-32 with 2:25 on the clock. However, Pringle and John Smith takes advantage of the Dragons sloppy defense and ended the quarter defending their lead 39-32.

The Warriors come off the break by increasing their lead to 7 before back to back threes by Smith gives the Warriors a 45 to 32 lead. The Dragons responded with a 11-2 run to cut the deficit to just four points at 47-43 with a little over 5:37 left in the quarter. A sensational move by Edwards then turned it to a single possession game at 47-45 before Hubbard tied things up at 47.

Back on the floor, Thomas swings the momentum back to the Warriors as he puts in back to back baskets to stop the Dragons run. Canada continued the Warriors comeback by slicing through traffic to further increase the lead to 53-47. The Warriors headed into the fourth quarter on an 18-7 run to finish with the 65-54 lead heading into the final period.
Dragons started the breathtaking fourth quarter on a run capped by Melton going coast to coast for a lay-up to close in to 65-63 with 8 minutes left in the game. A John Ng three makes it a one point game at 68-69, then an Armon three gave the Dragons the lead 71-69 only for Daniels to lock things back up at 71 on the next possession. Then Pringle stole the ball off Melton and launched into a two on one fast break which was converted by Canada. The Warriors are now back up 73-71 with 5 minutes on the clock. Pringle continued a great performance by converting 3-pt play to ensure the Warriors maintained a lead at 76-73.

Hubbard then gave the Dragons back the lead at 79-78 with less than 3:30 on the clock. Edwards extended the lead to 81-78 on the next possession. Pringle once again brought the Warriors within one point at 82-83 with 30 seconds on the clock. With just 9 seconds to go the Dragons forced a foul, putting Edwards on the free throw line. Edwards calmly makes both free throws giving the Warriors the final possession with a 3 point deficit.

In the final nail-biting moments, Hubbard fouled Pringle, sending him to the line. Unfortunately Pringle misses both his attempts. Melton grabbed the rebound and drew a foul to get to the line at the other end of the court. Although Melton split his free throws it was enough to ice the game and despite a last ditch three from Thomas the Dragons grab the win 86-85.  

Justin Melton has been a revelation for the Dragons.

Game recaps were compressed and compiled from AseanBasketballLeague.com.

Images: Images are from AseanBasketballLeague.com.
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