NBA
Asi, Banchero power Beermen to ABL crown
Alder Almo (The Philippine Star) - June 13, 2013 - 12:02am

MANILA, Philippines – The chase for the one that got away last year finally ended for the San Miguel Beermen on Wednesday night.

On Independence Day, the Beermen found plenty of heroes to fend off the resistance of the defending champion Indonesia Warriors to complete a sweep of the series with a 70-55 victory in Game Three at the Mahaka Square in Jakarta to bring home their first ever ASEAN Basketball League title.         

Season MVP Asi Taulava re-asserted his might inside while Fil-Italian hotshot Chris Banchero continued his series-long mastery in orchestrating their plays and was rightfully rewarded with the Finals MVP award after averaging 12.3 points and 4.7 assists in the Finals. 

After the 40-year old Taulava was limited to single digit output in Game Two, the PBA veteran bounced back with 19 big points on top of six rebounds and three assists while Banchero added 10 points, four assists and two steals.

The duo led the Beermen in avenging their Finals loss to the Warriors despite winning the series opener and holding the homecourt edge last season.  

The sweet sweep was a perfect ending to a season that was highlighted by an unprecedented 16-game winning streak but was marred by the passing away of their former coach Bobby Parks.

That only fuelled the Beermen’s determination to win the crown. 

San Miguel took care of business at home including a nerve-wracking 66-65 escape in Game Two.

In this game, the Beermen were determined to finish the series quickly as they went off to a hot start dropping a 6-1 bomb on the home team. But the Warriors, with so much pride left in them, came charging back with a 9-0 run capped off by hometown hero Mario Wuysang’s three-pointer.  

ABL coach of the year Leo Austria quickly called a timeout and the Beermen responded with an 8-0 windup to take a four-point lead, 14-10, into the second quarter.

San Miguel sustained its solid game and even extended the lead to six on import Brian Williams’ fade away jumper just before the buzzer as the Beermen sat on a 33-27 cushion at the break.

A 9-0 run anchored by Taulava, Val Acuna and their other import Justin Williams towards the end of the third canto pushed the Beermen’s lead to a dozen, 51-39.    

Last season MVP Leo Avenido and Williams took turns in helping the Beermen built a commanding 17-point lead which they sustained until the final buzzer.

Wuysang paced the dethroned champions with 21 points while Beermen’s stifling defense held Indonesia’s Fil-Am import Stanley Pringle to 11 and their American import Steve Thomas to a series-worst five points.  The Warriors’ other American import Chris Daniels chipped in 15 points and hauled down 19 boards that went for naught. 

ASI TAULAVA BASKETBALL LEAGUE BEERMEN BOBBY PARKS BRIAN WILLIAMS BUT THE WARRIORS CHRIS BANCHERO GAME TWO SAN MIGUEL
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