2013 ASEAN Basketball League Championship Roundup: June 12, 2013

The San Miguel Beermen brought the bacon back home where it truly belongs. SMB completed a sweep of the Indonesia Warriors in Game 3 to secure the second ABL trophy, which was last won by a Philippine team in the league’s maiden season in 2010.

Brian Williams celebrates his first ABL title!

Not even Indonesia’s homecourt crowd could derail the inevitable as league MVP Asi Taulava put his stamp on San Miguel’s first title in the ASEAN circuit. The Rock scored 19 points, grabbed 6 rebounds, and handed out 3 assists as SMB opened up the game in the second half. Local players Chris Banchero and Leo Avenido scored 10 apiece to backstop Taulava’s stellar effort, and this is important because the Beermen haven’t been as import-reliant as all the other teams in the league. With the exception of JR Cawaling, all 10 Beermen inserted into the game scored. In contrast, coach Todd Purves of Indonesia stuck with a super tight 7-man rotation.

The Warriors didn’t exactly enjoy the best from their stars. Mario Wuysang had 21 points but no assists. Chris Daniels scored 15 points and had 19 rebounds, but he shot just 7-of-20 from the field. Stanley Pringle didn’t do too well, too. The usually prolific Fil-Am connected on just 4 of his 11 field goal attempts while also turning the ball over 5 times. Indonesia was just outclassed, but it is worth noting that Jerick Cañada wasn’t able to play for them.

Mario Wuysang failed to lead his team's
title defense this year.

Despite the big win, however, it’s already clear that next season will be a big challenge for SMB as Asi Taulava is eyeing a return to the more competitive PBA (he also received an offer to play for the Foshan Dralions in the CBA) while Chris Banchero is set to join the PBA D-League, which is a requirement for him to eventually enter the 2014 PBA Draft. The Warriors’ Pringle, too, is rumored to be thinking of foregoing next season to join the PBA.

Asi Taulava was dominant once again for SMB.

Game Recaps:
The San Miguel Beermen were crowned the AirAsia 2013 ASEAN Basketball League Champions tonight following their 70-55 win over the Indonesia Warriors.

The Beermen have been very vocal about their intentions from the start and head coach Leo Austria dedicated the win to his predecessor, the late Bobby Parks.
Asi Taulava led the champions with 19 points. Chris Banchero’s followed with 10 points, although that only told the smallest part of the role that he has played in the Beermen squad throughout the finals series.

The defending champions looked uncomfortable in the beginning and struggled with their shots, managing just 23% from the field. The Beermen, on the other hand, barely lost their stride from the past two games. A Justin Williams block in the first half started them on a 6-0 run capped with a Fortuna basket that put the Beermen up 14-10 going into the second quarter.

The Beermen continued to build their lead in the second quarter, Taulava and Banchero both going on scoring runs. The Beermen were 44% from the field in the first half, although they struggled from the three, missing all seven of their attempts. They still managed to hold on to a six point lead 33-27 heading into the break.
Points were still hard to come by for the Warriors in the second half but they tried hard to make things difficult for the Beermen. Chris Daniels came in off the break with a couple of quick baskets that put the hosts in to within four points at 31-35. However Paulo Hubalde put a stop to that with a layup before he stole the ball off Thomas and fed it to Avenido for a three. Then a Taulava basket gave Beermen their first double digit lead of the game at 49-38 with 2:20 remaining till the final quarter. The Beermen held on to that lead and finished the third period ahead 53 to 43.

The fourth quarter was an uphill battle the Warriors were unable to climb. Despite a tough fight from Mario Wuysang, who finished on top of the leaderboard with 21 points, the Warriors soon found themselves down 17 points with half the quarter still remaining. With the Championship so close in their sights, the Beermen powered on and finished off the game 70-55 to lift the 2013 ABL Championship trophy.    

Chris Banchero had the last laugh against Stanley Pringle.

The Beermen honored their late former coach,
Bobby Parks, with the title conquest.

The San Miguel Beermen -- your champions for the 2013 ASEAN Basketball League.

Game recaps were compressed and compiled from AseanBasketballLeague.com.

Images: Images are from AseanBasketballLeague.com.
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