Beermen nip Warriors, snare huge 2-0 edge
Brian Williams buried the game-winner from underneath as San Miguel Beer carved out a pulsating 66-65 decision over Indonesia yesterday to move within a win of clinching the Asean Basketball League (ABL) championship at Ynares Sports Arena.
Williams scored on an inbound pass from Leo Avenido with 5.2 seconds left before Indonesia’s star guard Stanley Pringle missed on a last-gasp attempt to seal the win that gave the Beermen a 2-0 advantage in the best-of-five finals series.
“It was designed for him (Williams),” said SMB coach Leo Austria. “We know that they’ll stop (Chris) Banchero and Asi (Taulava), so it was set up really for Brian. Avenido made the right decision, he followed it to the letter. It was a well-executed play.”
Williams, a burly 6-foot-8 American import, wound up with a double-double of 17 points and 16 rebounds on top of four blocks and a couple of assists.
The Beermen had no timeout left in the dying seconds, but were able to set up the game-winning play after Indonesia coach Todd Purves surprisingly called time with 6.8 seconds left.
“We were fortunate because of that (timeout),” said Austria. “It was for their defensive plan, so it could have gone either way.”
The Beermen will go for a title sweep on the Warriors’ homecourt as the series heads to Jakarta for Game 3 at 7 p.m. (8 p.m. Philippine time) on Wednesday.
Banchero fired 12 points and dished out five assists for the Beermen, who blew a 10-point advantage in the first half, 22-12.
The Beermen rallied for a thrilling 75-70 triumph in Game 1 last Friday where season MVP Taulava pumped in a game-high 22 points.
Avenido chipped in eight points and four assists and Taulava also added eight points and six boards.
SAN MIGUEL BEER 66—B. Williams 17, Banchero 12, Avenido 8, Taulava 8, Acuña 7, J. Williams 6, Fortuna 6, Hubalde 2, Cawaling 0, Menk 0.
INDONESIA 65—Pringle 21, Daniels 15, Thomas 13, Cañada 11, Wuysang 5, Sitepu 0, Smith 0, Prihantono 0.
Quarters: 14-12, 37-34, 49-51, 66-65