2013 ASEAN Basketball League Playoffs Roundup: May 23, 2013

I have a theory. I believe the San Miguel Beermen lost Game 1 because they had trouble remembering, much less pronouncing, the name of the guy who plugged the winning shot – Thai national team mainstay Darongpan Apiromvilaichai.

Darongpan Apiromvilaichai.

Yes, say that over and over till your head hurts and your tongue gets tied.

If you were SMB coach Leo Austria, how can you prepare your team against a guy whose name has nine syllables.

Still, it’s no excuse. The Beermen weren’t the Beermen in this one.

Chris Banchero and the Beermen were off in Game 1.

Sure, maybe we can forgive the fact they had less rebounds, assists, and steals than the Slammers. Sure, fine. But we CANNOT forgive SMB’s 50% free throw shooting and their 25 turnovers.

Tsk tsk.

I guess they have more problems than pronouncing these Thai names.

Oh, and did I mention that this Darongpan guy has a twin?

No. Really.

Game Recaps:
Darongpan Apiromvilaichai knocked down the biggest shot of his career with 5 seconds left on the game to help the Sports Rev Thailand Slammers upset the No. 1 seed San Miguel Beermen with a 62-60 win in Game 1 of the AirAsia 2013 ABL Playoffs semi-finals.

“All the credit goes to all my teammates. Everybody works very hard to get this win. On the last play, coach drew a great play and I’m very happy I was to able to knock it down,” said Apiromvilaichai after the game.

Chris Charles led the Slammers with 24 points and 13 rebounds while Kannawat Lertlaaokul added 10 points. Darrius Brannon, who was battling a knee injury all game long, contributed 8 points and 10 rebounds for the Slammers who are leading 1-0 in this best-of-five series.

Slammers’ head coach Joe Bryant credited his team’s defense. “We played great aggressive defense in this game. We put a lot of pressure on the ball and it worked very well,” said Bryant after game. The Slammers’ aggressive defense forced San Miguel to commit 25 turnovers in this game.

Despite never having beaten the Beermen this season, the Slammers came ready to play as they took a 15-7 lead with 3:45 left in the first period on a three-point shot from Chanachon Klahan. However, Chris Banchero came off the Beermen’s bench and made an impact right away. With Banchero on the court, the Beermen were able to play high-tempo basketball. As a result, they ended the first period with a 10-2 run capped off by a layup from Banchero to tie things up at 17.

In the second quarter, the Slammers were able to answer every Beermen run. After Justin Williams cut the Beermen’s deficit to 2 points, Charles came back with a long two and layup that stretched the lead back to 6 points with 3 minutes left in the second period. Right before halftime, Paulo Hubalde and Banchero had a layup each to once again get the Beermen within 2 points. Unfortunately for San Miguel, Luiz Gonzaga made a three-pointer with 40 seconds left to give the Slammers a 36-31 lead at halftime.

It was the same story in the third quarter. Asi, who had been very quiet in the first half, made a layup that cut the Slammers’ lead to 43-42 with 1:48 left in the third quarter. Once again, the Slammers were able to respond immediately with a jumpshot from Charles and layup from Sukdavb Ghogar as the Slammers head to the final quarter with a 47-42 lead.

The fourth quarter was everything you expected in a playoffs game. Both teams kept exchanging baskets and hit big shots. Banchero put the Beermen in front at 54-53 after finishing a tough layup against Baguion. With 13 seconds left and his team down by 2, Banchero calmly knocks down both of his free throws to tie the game. Off a timeout, coach Bryant drew a perfect play which led to Apiromvilaichai standing free on the wing and made the game winning-shot.

This is San Miguel’s first loss since February 16th, 2013. During this loss, Banchero scored 13 points in his return, Justin Williams had 12 points and 12 rebounds, and Brian Williams added 12 points and 10 rebounds.

Brian Williams loses the ball to Chris Charles.

Darongpan Apiromvilaichai reacts after hitting the winning shot!

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

Images are from AseanBasketballLeague.com (by Nuki Sabio and Paul Ryan Tan).

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