2013 ASEAN Basketball League Playoffs Roundup: May 28-30, 2013

The Indonesia Warriors and the San Miguel Beermen set up a rematch of last season’s Finals after disposing of their respective semifinal rivals in the 2013 ASEAN Basketball League Playoffs.

The two Williamses celebrate their semis win over Thailand.

The terrific trio of Stanley Pringle, Chris Daniels, and Mario Wuysang just proved to be too much for the Westports Malaysia Dragons. Pringle shot 10-of-19 from the field to finish with 24 points and 8 rebounds in leading the Indonesia Warriors past the Dragons in Game 3 of their semifinal match-up, 81-64. Daniels and Wuysang added 18 and 17 markers respectively as the Indons completed a 3-game sweep of third-seeded Malaysia. Daniels also registered 8 rebounds, 4 assists, 3 steals, and 2 blocks in a grand all-around effort. Justin Melton and Gavin Edwards spearheaded the Dragons in their last game of the postseason. Melton scored 16 points on top of 5 rebounds, while Edwards ended up with 15 points, 7 rebounds, and 3 rejections. One key in the game was Indonesia committing just 11 turnovers while forcing the Malaysians to cough the ball up 21 times.

Justin Melton was sent packing by the Warriors.

Mario Wuysang caught fire against the Dragons.

Stanley Pringle looks to be in prime
form heading into the Finals.

In the other semifinal match-up, the San Miguel Beermen outclassed the Sports Rev Thailand Slammers in Games 3 & 4 to advance to the ABL Finals for the second straight year. Despite the great effort put forth by the Slammers’ imports – Chris Charles, Froilan Baguion, and Darius Brannon – as well as the locals stepping up (most notably Chanachon Klahan and Wuttipong Dasom), the Beermen managed to dispose of Thailand after four games. The frontline tandem of Brian Williams and Asi Taulava led SMB in its Game 3 conquest before Paulo Hubalde stepped up to lead them in clinching the series win in Game 4. Taulava normed 14.0ppg and 5.5rpg in those two games, emerging easily as SMB’s most consistent player. The former Philippine NT mainstay will now go up against the Warriors’ Steve Thomas and Chris Daniels in the Finals. San Miguel will be looking for vengeance after losing the championship to the Warriors last year. Manila will host Games 1 & 2, while Indonesia will host Games 3 & 4 (if necessary). If a fifth game is needed, it will also be held in Manila. Other key match-ups to watch are the following: Chris Banchero versus Stanley Pringle at the point, and Leo Avenido against John Smith on the wings.

Chanachon Klahan of Thailand is caught in
the middle of SMB's trees.

Chris Banchero looks to improve his offense in the
titular best-of-five series.

Game Recaps:
The San Miguel Beermen are one step closer to returning in the AirAsia 2013 ABL Finals following a 70-62 win over the Sports Rev Thailand Slammers at Nimibutr Stadium, Thailand. With this win, San Miguel regained home-court advantage and take a 2-1 lead in this best-of-five semi-final round.

Brian Williams led the Beermen with 14 points, Asi Taulava came up huge down the stretch and finished with 13 points. Justin Williams added nine points and four block shots for the Beermen who now have a chance to close out the series on Thursday night.

San Miguel had a dream start in the opening quarter as they stepped on the gas right from the get go to grab a 20-2 lead.  This fast start by the Beermen was capped off by a three-point shot from Brian Williams. San Miguel successfully limited the production of Chris Charles in the first ten minutes. Charles was held scoreless and took only one shot. With Charles not getting his touches, Wutipong Dasom and Sukdavb Ghogar tried to get their team back into the game. Despite Dasom and Ghogar’s 10 combined points combined to end the first quarter, San Miguel still held a 27-12 lead after 10 minutes.

Charles finally got his first basket after making a long two-pointer to open the second quarter. However, the Beermen continued to build their lead in the second quarter. After J. Williams rocked the rim with an emphatic slam, Eric Menk hit a free throw line extended jumper which gave the Beermen their biggest lead in this game at 18-39 midway through the second quarter.

Down 18 points heading into the third, the Slammers came out of the locker room with a different mentality. Froilan Baguion opened the period by draining a three-point shot to start the Slammers’ 14-1 run. Thailand finished off their run with a dunk from Darrius Brannon, cutting the Beermen’s lead to 45-40. Despite only scoring six points in the third quarter, San Miguel still had the 50-41 lead heading into the fourth.

The final quarter saw the Beermen lose both of their imports as both J. and B. Williams fouled out of the game. San Miguel kept their composure however, and Chris Banchero nailed a runner to put the Beermen up 65-58. Then Menk came up huge down the stretch as he put away the Slammers with his jump shot, giving the Beermen a 68-59 lead down the stretch.

“I was expecting this kind of game. The Slammers refused to lose and that’s why they made a good run in the second half. I have to give credit to all my players because they didn’t give up,” said Beermen head coach Leo Austria, who was recently named the 2013 ABL Coach of the Year, in his post-game interview.

Charles finished with 17 points and 10 rebounds while Baguion added 13 points. Dasom contributed 10 points for the Slammers who now face a must win game.

The Indonesia Warriors headed back to the AirAsia 2013 ABL Finals and will have a shot to become the first team in the ABL to win back-to back championships following an 81-64 win to sweep the Westports Malaysia Dragons in the semi-final round.

Stanley Pringle was simply spectacular for the Warriors as he entertained the ABL fans with his killer crossovers as he led all scoring with 24 points and 8 rebounds. Chris Daniels also played a big part as he came up with hustle plays that led him to finish with 18 points and 8 rebounds. Mario Wuysang came up with a couple clutch baskets in the final quarter and he ended up with 17 points. Steven Thomas recorded a double-double with 10 points and 17 rebounds.

After missing the first two games in this series, Marcus Hubbard made an impact early after his two-handed jam put the Dragons 15-14 with 2 minutes left in the first period. But it was all Warriors after that as the Warriors finished the first quarter on a 8-0 run capped off by a short pull-up jumper from Pringle to beat the buzzer.

Momentum was still on the Warriors’ side at the start of the second quarter as Indonesia made a 7-0 run to open the second quarter which was started by a slam dunk from Daniels. The run gave the Warriors a 29-15 lead with 6 minutes left before halftime. During that stretch, Marcus Hubbard hurt his knee after going after a loose ball against Steven Thomas. After the incident, Hubbard was walking gingerly but was able to continue until the final buzzer. A layup from Wuysang and Pringle before halftime put the Warriors up 43-26 at the break.
Feeding off the energy from their home-crowd at MABA Stadium, Malaysia was trying to make a rally in the third quarter. Off a Warriors’ turnover, Julius Armon takes the ball up all the way to the rack and finished with a left handed layup to cut the Dragons’ deficit to 55-43 with 2 minutes left. With the Dragons regaining momentum, Pringle breaks their momentum with a tough shot against Hubbard with 1:19 left in the third period. Warriors were able to stretched their lead back to 63-47 after three period.

Early in the fourth quarter, Malaysia was trying to make a rally. A basket from Moala Tautuaa with 8:32 left got the Dragons within 13 points. Unfortunately for Malaysia, that was as close as they could get to the Warriors. Pringle ensured the Warriors’ ticket to the finals with a little floater in the lane with 3:45 left to put away the Dragons for good.

Justin Melton led the Dragons with 16 points while Gavin Edwards added 15 points. Hubbard finished with 11 points and Tautuaa chipped in 10 points for the Dragons who committed 21 turnovers in this game 3.

The San Miguel Beermen heads to the AirAsia 2013 ABL Finals after a 77-61 win over the Sports Rev Thailand Slammers sealed their playoff series at 3-1. With this win, San Miguel earned a rematch with the Indonesia Warriors in the 2013 ABL Finals and a chance to avenge their loss last season.

Paulo Hubalde led all scoring with 16 points, Asi Taulava finished with 15 points and Brian Williams added 10 points for the Beermen.

Taulava gave a lot of credit to the young Slammers team for giving them a tough battle throughout the series. “We take our hats off to the Slammers. It was not an easy series,” Taulava said, in his post-game interview.

After a big performance in game three, Taulava started right where left off as he capped off an 11-0 run by the Beermen with his putback and a fade-away bank shot to give the Beermen a 13-4 lead midway through the first period. Shooting 50% from the field in the first quarter helped San Miguel grab a 21-13 lead after 10 minutes.

Darrius Brannon has not made a lot of impact for the Slammers during this series, but he brought in a lot of energy for the Slammers in the second quarter. Brannon opened up the second quarter with his layup which sparked an 8-2 run for the Slammers. Baguion finished up the run with his three-pointer to cut the Slammers’ deficit to 23-22 with 7:36 left in the second period. Thailand was able to tie the game at 30 all after Brannon’s finger roll, however Jeric Fortuna made a three-point shot before the half to put the Beermen ahead at 33-30 going into the locker room.

After a strong second quarter, Brannon suffered an injury after his teammate Darongpan Apiromvilaichai fell on his knee early in the third quarter. Brannon was unable to return to the game.

San Miguel stepped up their game in the second and their defense picked up in intensity as they were making all the hustle plays. The Beermen held the Slammers to only 11 points in the third period. Justin Williams scores on a putback and Chris Banchero had a layup to end the third quarter, giving the Beermen a 53-41 lead.

The stingy defense of San Miguel continued to force the Slammers to commit turnovers. Two layups from Banchero off turnovers from Slammers’ players put the game away for good as the Beermen went up 67-51 with 2:44 left, sealing San Miguel’s ticket back to the ABL Finals.

Chris Charles finished with 15 points, 9 rebounds and 6 block shots while Brannon had 10 points. Baguion added 8 points for the Slammers who were struggling from the free throw line. Thailand missed 16 of their 21 free throws in this game.

Game recaps were compressed and compiled from AseanBasketballLeague.com.

Images: Images are from AseanBasketballLeague.com.
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