San Miguel snatches game one at home, edges Indonesia in the ABL finalsBy Celest R. Flores
MANILA, Philippines—Not in San Miguel’s house.
San Miguel on Saturday night protected its homecourt but not before overcoming a tough Indonesia squad, 86-83, in game one of the best-of-three finals of the 3rd Asean Basketball League at the Ynares Sports Center in Pasig City.
The series shifts to the Warriors’ home turf in Jakarta next Saturday where the Beermen have a chance to clinch the title in only the franchise’s first year in the league or play again in Manila for a game three.
Veteran guard Froilan Baguion was the game changer for the Beermen as he delivered the most crucial basket and assist of the night.
Baguion knocked down a triple, his first and only basket of the night, which finally tied the game at 77 after San Miguel played catch up most of the night.
Also dishing out nine assists, Baguion set up Nick Fazekas—who struggled from the field with 7-of-19—for an alley-oop which gave the Beermen a four-point breather in the final 30 ticks.
“Baguion’s a veteran. We put him in the point then Banchero at number two, now we have a luxury of having two good point guards,” said head coach Bobby Parks.
Leo Avenido, one of the top MVP candidates this ABL, sealed the victory with a split from the line and finished with 21 points.
Duke Crews paced the Beermen with 22 points including a momentum-shifting three-point play, drawing an unsportsmanlike foul on Allan Salansang, with a little over a minute to go.
As far as the head-to-head match up between the league’s two most explosive guards, Indonesia’s Stanley Pringle got the upperhand over Chris Banchero in the offensive end.
Pringle finished with 21 points, six rebounds and an assist while Banchero had 11 points, two rebounds and seven assist with the W.
Arthur Brock, which caused the Beermen a match up nightmare in the paint against Fazekas, had a game-best 24 points with nine rebounds.
The Warriors led by as big as 14 points in the second quarter and held on to the advantage for most of the game until San Miguel’s comeback in the final three minutes.