ABL: Beermen trim Slammers, tie Patriots for second
Leo Avenido fueled a decisive second-half surge as the San Miguel Beermen outlasted the defending champion Chang Thailand Slammers, 68-59, in the Asean Basketball League Sunday at the Thai Japanese Association gym in Bangkok.
The Beermen wriggled out of a 45-45 deadlock with Avenido hitting all but three of his 14 points to give San Miguel its first double-digit lead, 64-54, time down to three minutes.
Dalron Johnson topscored with 21 points and grabbed eight rebounds in the road-game win that gave the Beermen a share of third with the AirAsia Philippine Patriots at 2-1.
It wasn’t a good day for Thailand teams as the Singapore Slingers overwhelmed the Bangkok Cobras, 73-48, at the Singapore Indoor Stadium.
Wei Long Wong and Louis Graham combined for 29 points and Filipino import Donald Dulay added 10 and three assists to help the Slingers grab solo second at 3-1.
The Westports Malaysia Dragons kept the solo lead with a perfect 3-0 record after dumping the Saigon Heat, 97-86, on Saturday night in Kuala Lumpur.
Mentored by Filipino coach Ariel Vanguardia, the Dragons got off to a strong start with American import Brian Williams joining hands with Filipino reinforcements Patrick Cabahug, Nic Belasco and Chris Pacana.
Import Doug Thomas had 10 points and league veteran Benedict Fernandez contributed nine for the Beermen.
The Slammers, who dethroned the Patriots last season, threatened at 51-53 before the Beermen unloaded a 11-3 bomb that included a pair of three-point plays by Avenido.
Thailand’s American duo of Kenneth Walker and Deandre Thomas teamed up for 36 points, while Filipino import Chester Tolomia shot 11 for the Slammers, who fell to 1-3.
SAN MIGUEL 68–Johnson 21, Avenido 14, Thomas 10, Fernandez 9, Rizada 5, Fajardo 3, Baguion 3, Cabatu 3, Luanzon 0, Mangahas 0, Dela Peña 0, Gonzales 0.
CHANG THAILAND 59–Walker 21, Thomas 15, Tolomia 11, Suttisin 5, Lertmalaiporn 4, Apiromvilaichai 3, William 0, Tintai 0, Sangthong 0, Jantuma 0.
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