San Miguel draws first blood in ABL FinalsBy Jonas Panerio
Cebu Daily News
The San Miguel Beermen held court as they came all the way back from a double-digit deficit to outlast the resilient Indonesia Warriors, 86-83, in Game 1 of the best-of-three finals in the Asean Basketball League yesterday at the Ynares Sports Arena in Pasig City.
The win gave the Beermen a pivotal 1-0 headstart in the short series.
The Beermen fought an uphill battle for most of the way as they trailed, 20-26, after the opening period, headed by an explosive start by Warriors guard Stanley Pringle, who scored 14 points in that stretch.
Indonesia remained in front and had their biggest lead at 39-27 lead after a Mario Wuysang three point shot.
The Beermen kept it close and trailed by just five, 41-46, at halftime. They took the lead, 52-50, after a Duke Crews slam dunk. However, Indonesia held its ground and brought a 64-63 advantage after the third period horn.
The fourth canto was a wild and woolly affair as the Warriors zoomed ahead, 70-63, after a basket by import Evan Brock with 7:14 left.
The home team had one more fight in them as they tied the game at 77-all after a shot by Crews and a three pointer by former M. Lhuillier guard Froilan Baguion with 2:54 left. On their next offensive, San Miguel went ahead as Baguion found a streaking Nick Fazekas for an and-one play and an 80-77 lead.
Indonesia remained close as Steve Thomas shot in a putback to slice the deficit to one, 79-80.
Then came the game’s pivotal play as Duke Crews found the space and the strength to slam the ball over Indonesia forward Allan Salangsang.
Adding insult to injury, Salangsang was called for an unsportsmanlike foul. Crews sank in the bonus shot for an 83-79 lead with 1:09 remaining. Fazekas and Pringle exchanged baskets to peg the score at 85-83 when SMB’s Leo Avenido was fouled with 13.7 ticks on the clock.
The normally-unflappable wingman made just one, leaving the door ajar for Indonesia.
Wuysang, though, missed the game-tying three to give San Miguel the win.
Crews paced the Beermen with 22 points, while Avenido added 21 points. Fazekas chipped in 18 while Baguion had just three points but had nine assists.
Tags: Asean Basketball League