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Beermen gun for lucky 13

(The Philippine Star) - May 3, 2013 - 12:00am

MANILA, Philippines - Pacesetting San Miguel Beer guns for its 13th straight victory in a spirited bid to move closer to the coveted No. 1 spot in the Asean Basketball League playoffs as it hosts Indonesia at Ynares Sports Arena today.

The Beermen (15-3), who have struggled without ace Chris Banchero the last two games, stake their amazing run at 5 p.m. against the defending champion Warriors (13-5), now beefed up by the return of Fil-Am Stanley Pringle from injury.

“Indonesia is a dangerous team with Pringle around so we have to be disciplined in executing our game plan both on offense and defense. But the first thing in our list is to stop Pringle,” said San Miguel Beer coach Leo Austria.

A victory by the Beermen will put them within a triumph away from gaining the No. 1 position and home court advantage in the semifinals. The second-running Warriors are SMB’s closest rivals for the slot and could boost their shot at the coveted position with a huge win today. Should SMB and Indonesia end up tied at the end of elims, the Warriors can steal No. 1 if they win this matchup by at least 15 points.

The Warriors are coming off an 85-86 heartbreaker to the Westports Malaysia Dragons in Pringle’s first appearance this season. For its part, San Miguel barely got past Saigon Heat, 71-69, in their last outing.

“We have learned our lessons from the Saigon game. We took them for granted and let our guard down. We almost paid for it,” said Austria, who will rely on Paolo Hubalde and Jeric Fortuna to fill in for Banchero at the point, Brian Williams, Justin Williams, and Asi Taulava up front, and Leo Avenido, RJ Rizada and Val Acuna for scoring support.

Chris Daniels, Steve Thomas, John Smith, Jerick Canada, and Mario Wuysang backstop Pringle over at the Warriors’ fold.

ASEAN BASKETBALL LEAGUE ASI TAULAVA BEERMEN BRIAN WILLIAMS CHRIS BANCHERO CHRIS DANIELS FIL-AM STANLEY PRINGLE JERICK CANADA JOHN SMITH JUSTIN WILLIAMS
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