Malaysia Dragons upend PH Patriots in extra timeBy June Navarro
Philippine Daily Inquirer
THE WESTPORTS Malaysia Dragons outlasted the AirAsia Philippine Patriots in overtime, 97-93, on Sunday at the Ynares Sports Arena, giving idle pacesetters San Miguel Beermen the No.1 seeding going into the semifinals of the Asean Basketball League.
Tiras Wade, the league’s leading scorer, banged in 34 points and Brian Williams, a workhorse off the glass, added 30 and 18 rebounds as the Malaysians notched their 10th win in 19 games.
Filipino import Patrick Cabahug contributed 17 points for the Dragons, who controlled the game after erecting an 11-point lead at the half.
The Patriots, who now have lost three of their last four games, dropped to 14-5. Though assured of homecourt advantage in the semifinals, the Patriots’ defeat cemented the Beermen’s (16-4) grip on the top spot.
“Wade is the number one scorer and Williams is the number one rebounder in this league,” said Dragons coach Ariel Vanguardia. “I am not worried. Our rivals should stop our imports first.”
Wade, who averages 25.59 points per game, scored eight in extra time capped by a three-pointer for 94-91 Dragons lead with 1:20 left. The Patriots then bungled their last three attempts.
The Patriots actually blew two chances to win the game in regulation.
Al Vergara missed a free throw in the dying seconds with the game tied at 83 while Kiko Adriano’s 12-footer rimmed out in the next Patriots’ offensive.
In the semifinals, the Beermen collide with the No. 4 squad while the Patriots tackle the third-ranked team in a separate best-of-three series. The Dragons and the Indonesia Warriors are tied at third.
MALAYSIA 97—Wade 34, Williams 30, Cabahug 17, John 7, Belasco 5, Batumalai 3, Kuppusamy 1, Loh 0, Pacana 0.
PH PATRIOTS 93—Johnson 26, Vergara 19, Miller 15, Wainwright 11, Ramos 6, Fernandez 4, Adriano 4, Ybanes 2, Laure 2, Raymundo 2, Larong 2, Arellano 0.
Quarters: 26-16, 50-39, 66-60, 83-83, 97-93 (OT)