ABL: Beermen survive 3 OTs to down Dragons | Inquirer Sports

ABL: Beermen survive 3 OTs to down Dragons

By: - Reporter / @jwpayoINQ
/ 12:59 AM May 19, 2013

GAME THURSDAY (Ynares Sports Arena)
8 p.m.–San Miguel Beer vs Sports Rev Thailand
(Game 1, best-of-five semis)

SAN MIGUEL Beer survived its toughest test yet just days before starting its  semifinal campaign as the top seed in the Asean Basketball League.

Leo Avenido bailed out SMB thrice as the Beermen outlasted the Westports Malaysia Dragons in triple overtime, 107-104, to close out their elimination run with a record 16 straight wins Friday night at Maba Stadium in Kuala Lumpur.

Avenido, last season’s MVP, nailed a floater with a minute left to shatter a 104-104 deadlock before Paolo Hubalde sank a free throw with seven seconds remaining for the final tally.

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Before his game-winner, Avenido also forged the first overtime with a layup, 79-79, then repeated his heroics with a clutch triple for an 88-88 tie that sealed the second extra period.

Avenido finished with a team-high 22 points like import Brian Williams, who also added 23 rebounds.

Hubalde also had 18 points for the Beermen, who wrapped up the eliminations with a 19-3 record.

“We tried to be consistent,” said San Miguel coach Leo Austria. “But it’s good we were able to experience this kind of game.”

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The Beermen will clash with the fourth-ranked Sports Rev Thailand in the best-of-five semifinal series starting at 8 p.m. on Thursday at Ynares Sports Arena.

Defending champion Indonesia and Malaysia tangle in the other Final Four pairing.

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Although the Beermen were already assured of the No. 1 spot coming into the game, Austria said the team wanted to extend its phenomenal streak, which already stands as a league record.

“Everyone wanted to win,” said Austria. “But what’s important for us is we improved every game.”

Gavin Edwards paced the Dragons with 29 points, including a layup that forced the third extra period, 100-100.

The scores:

SAN MIGUEL BEER 107—Avenido 22, Williams B. 22, Hubalde 18, Acuña 13, Taulava 10, Rizada 6, Menk 5, Cawaling 5, Fortuna 4, Williams J. 2.

WESTPORTS MALAYSIA 104—Edwards 29, Armon 27, Hubbard 17, Tautuaa 13, Melton 9, Ng 7, Batumalai 2.

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Quarters: 24-24, 44-40, 64-61, 79-79 (reg.), 88-88 (1OT), 100-100 (2OT), 107-104 (3OT)

TAGS: ABL, Asean Basketball League, Basketball, Kuala Lumpur Dragons, San Miguel Beermen

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