San Miguel bows to Indonesian squad, fails in ABL title bidBy Celest R. Flores
MANILA, Philippines — San Miguel, dominant all season long in only its first year in the Asean Basketball League, failed to capture the crown as it bowed to a tougher Indonesian squad, 76-78, in game three Saturday at the Ynares Sports Center in Pasig City.
Leo Avenido, the league’s MVP, was unable to make the basket and all-important rebound that would have sent the game into overtime.
But it was a game-long struggle for the Beermen, who only led in the early part of the first quarter before the Indonesians pulled away.
But a pulsating comeback, anchored on Duke Crews and Chris Banchero’s big shots, slashed the lead to a basket with just seconds left before the heartbreaking miss by Avenido. Crews had a game-best 29 points while Banchero added 16 points.
“They outplayed us this game. They made the plays we didn’t make,” said San Miguel’s head coach Bobby Parks Sr.
San Miguel also couldn’t neutralize the Warriors’ Fil-am guard Stanley Pringle, who once again exploded with 28 points along with eight rebounds.
The lightning-quick guard scored an and-one with two and half minutes remaining which silenced the crowd and halted the Beermen’s momentum after pulling to within 69-71.
Arthur Brock, who had 15 points and 16 boards, claimed the Finals MVP plum.