2013 ASEAN Basketball League Roundup: May 11-19, 2013

The San Miguel Beermen continued their historic ABL run with close wins over the Thailand Slammers and the Malaysia Dragons, gaining significant momentum towards the semifinals, while the Indonesia Warriors also ended strong by beating the Singapore Slingers at home. In the meantime, the Saigon Heat continued to flounder, losing to Malaysia and Thailand before ending their campaign with an unexpected W over the Dragons yesterday.

Chris Banchero leads a strong SMB five bent on
bringing the ABL title back to Manila.

As a result the past week cemented the semifinal pairings and effectively eliminated the Slingers from the title race (Saigon was eliminated millennia ago). The Beermen go up against the Slammers in their best-of-five semis match-up, while the defending champion Indonesia Warriors roll out versus the Dragons in their own race-to-three affair.

The winners of the semis will advance to the Finals for another best-of-five for all the marbles.

The following are league leaders at elimination round’s end:

The top overall scorer is Saigon’s Justin Howard with 20.4ppg, while SMB’s Chris Banchero is the best-scoring local with 16.4ppg.

The overall rebounding leader is Rashad Jones-Jennings of Singapore with 15.1rpg, while Asi Taulava of San Miguel led all local players with 7.1rpg.

Asi Taulava was the best local rebounder
in the league.

In terms of assists, Filipino import Froilan Baguion of Thailad led the whole league with 9.2apg, while Banchero was the top local with 4.2apg.

For steals, Chris Daniels of Indonesia led the way with 2.7spg even as Banchero once again was the top local with 2.2spg.

Thailand’s Christien Charles is the best blocker with 4.1bpg, while Taulava’s 0.7bpg was the best among locals.

Malaysia’s Guga Batumalai had the highest 3-point completion rate at 44.7%, while Indonesia’s Mario Wuysang had the highest amount of three-point conversions with a total of 58. That’s good for 2.6 threes per game for the Indon playmaker.

Mario Wuysang was one of the best
shooters in the ABL.

Here’s my micro-preview for the 2013 ABL Playoffs:

1 – San Miguel Beermen versus 4 – Sports Rev Thailand Slammers
The Beermen have been on a magnificent winning run lately, and it’s highly unlikely the inconsistent Slammers can stop it. Even with Chris Charles being one of the most productive imports in the league, I don’t see Thailand winning more than one game against the well-oiled Beermen. Heck, one might even be a stretch.

The Beermen just have too many weapons. Brian Williams and Asi Taulava form maybe the best frontline in the league, while Chris Banchero has been enjoying a career season. Former Best Local awardee Leo Avenido is still solid, while other guys like Jeric Fortuna, JR Cawaling, and Val Acuña can contribute at the drop of a hat. Justin Williams won’t score in bunches, but his presence on the defensive end should stifle even Charles.

The x-factor here might just be the performance of Darius Brannon and local player Wuttipong Dasom. If they can put together a few awesome games, then maybe the Slammers can make a good series out of this, but, by all indications, this could be over in three games.

Wuttipong Dasom has to get hot if the Slammers
want to make a series of their match-up with SMB.

2 – Indonesia Warriors versus 3 – Westports Malaysia Dragons
Now THIS is going to be a helluva wonderful series. The match-up between Mario Wuysang and Justin Melton at the point should be awesome, while I cannot wait to see how Stanley Pringle and Julius Armon butt heads at the wings. I believe the teams’ respective imports will eventually cancel each other out, which means my x-factors are going to be Jerick Cañada and John Smith for Indonesia and Moala Tautuaa for Malaysia.

If Cañada and Smith can produce big numbers to backstop Wuysang and Pringle in the backcourt, then the Indons will be plenty tough to beat, no other locals aside from Wuysang are actually expected to produce big. On the other end, if Tautuaa can assert himself inside against the smaller Indon frontliners, then the Dragons’ lives will be much easier.

This is going to be a close one. It will go five games, but, in the end, the experience of the Warriors might be the big difference that will carry them through to the Finals. Now, whether or not they will be able to defend their title is another thing altogether.

Julius Armon is a key player for the Dragons.
Images are from AseanBasketballLeague.com.

Next Post »
0 Comment