The defending champions of the Asean Basketball League (ABL) were treated to a rude awakening by the team they beat in the 2012 ABL Finals, the San Miguel Beermen. SMB defeated the Indonesia Warriors, 64-53, to open the 2013 ABL season on an emphatic note.
Without star Fil-Am guard Stanley Pringle, the Warriors could not keep up with the Beermen, who had a full complement of players here. Big man Brian Williams had debuted with aplomb for SMB with 15 points and 19 big rebounds. Local players Chris Banchero and Leo Avenido also broke the twin-digit barrier, scoring 14 and 10 markers respectively.
|Chris Banchero hoists one over the outstretched arms|
of Indonesia's Fil-American import, John Smith.
The Beermen limited the Warriors to just 30% FG shooting, while also beating them on the glass, 50-36. The hometown Indons were led by Steve Thomas’s 15 points and 14 boards, while fellow import Chris Daniels chipped in 10 points and 11 rebounds. Star playmaker Mario Wuysang struggled with just 6 points on 2-of-9 shooting and only 1 assist in 28 minutes.
SAN MIGUEL BEERMEN over INDONESIA WARRIORS, 64-53
It was the season opener that basketball fans all around the region were waiting for – a tantalizing rematch between the 2012 ABL Finalists, the Indonesia Warriors and the San Miguel Beermen. Tonight’s game also marked the first “ABL Friday Basketball” on ESPN Star Sports, the league’s regular weekly timeslot for live games.
Mahaka Square was rocking as local fans braved the traffic to show their support. Indonesia Warriors owner Handy P. Soetedjo was in attendance to watch his team open their bid to defend their championship. The US Ambassador to ASEAN David Carden and the US Ambassador to Indonesia Scott Marciel were also in the audience at Mahaka Square tonight.
Brian Williams had an impressive debut with the Beermen as he recorded a double-double with 15 points and 19 rebounds, Chris Banchero added 14 points and Leo Avenido had 10 points for the Beermen who had to play without Gabe Freeman most of the game after got into foul trouble early. Freeman finished with 8 points.
It was a low-scoring first half. The Warriors drew first blood early in the first quarter and neither team were able to contribute to the scoreboard until the Beermen equalized over three minutes later. The Beermen went on to grab the lead with five minutes left on the clock then went on a 10-4 run to build up a substantial 16-9 lead heading into the second quarter.
The Beermen were getting more comfortable on the court in the second quarter and made it clear that they were not about to easily give up their lead. The Warriors’ persistence paid off, however, as they managed to trim the Beermen’s lead to just 4 points at 13-17 within three minutes into the quarter. A final push in the final minutes leading into halftime saw the Beermen with a 5 point lead at 30 to 25.
A hard fought fourth quarter followed as both teams laid it out on the floor. It was a defensive, physical game and the big men of the Beermen took full advantage. Half of the Beermen’s points were scored in the paint and they out-rebounded the Warriors 50 to 36. A pair of free throws from Banchero and a field goal from Williams with 1:28 left sealed the win for the Beermen. In the end, the visitors took away the 64 to 53 win.
Steven Thomas led the Warriors with 15 points and 14 rebounds, while Chris Daniels had 10 points and 11 rebounds, but he was forced out the game with a cramp. Newcomer Richard Smith had a debut to forget as he was 0 for 10 from the field.
|Mario Wuysang had a forgettable first game|
in the 2013 ABL Season.
|Gabe Freeman scored only 8 points, but the Beermen still|
racked up a big win over the defending champs.
Source: Game recap was compressed and compiled from AseanBasketballLeague.com.
Images: All images are from AseanBasketballLeague.com.