ABL: Warriors edge Beermen in OT

The Indonesia Warriors successfully rallied after a 13 point deficit in the fourth quarter to extend their winning streak to four games after a big 98-96 win over the San Miguel Beermen.

ABL: Warriors vs Beerman

Wuysang firmly made his case for this season’s best local player award in this game as he hit big shot after big shot and led the Warriors with 20 points at the end of the game. Chris Daniels recorded his sixth straight double-double with 18 points and 12 rebounds. Canada also contributed 18 points and Steven Thomas added 17 points for the Warriors who are now at the top of the ABL standings table.

Freeman led all scoring for the Beermen with a huge 33 points and 15 rebounds, followed by Williams with 22 points. Eric Menk added a further 10 points to their tally.

The Beermen controlled the game in the first half. A pair of lay-ups from Eric Menk and Chris Banchero gave the Beermen a 35-28 lead with 5:09 left before halftime. Wuysang then answered for the Warriors with 7 straight points to put the game at a deadlock at 35. The Beermen answered with a 12-1 run which wascapped off by a left handed lay-up from Gabe Freeman which gave them the 47-36 lead at halftime.

Freeman put on a show in the third quarter and showed off his crossover skills. Freeman made a pull up jumper off a double crossover to ensure the Beermen’slead remained in the double-digits at 57-47. The Warriors were able to close the gap before heading into the final quarter from a tip-in by Daniels, a reverse a lay-up from Canada and a pair of free throws from Thomas, which cut their deficit to 59-53 at the end of the third period.

Freeman was unstoppable on the floor going into the fourth quarter as he helped to stretch the Beermen lead with a dunk and a three-point play which gave them a 68-55 lead with 7:31 left.  

But once again Wuysang came up huge for the Warriors down the stretch. He made a nice assist to Thomas for a lay-up and then a steal which was converted into a corner three-point shot from John Smith which saw the Warriors pull within 1 with 1:22 to go. The Beermen then suffered a loss with 57 seconds to go asChris Banchero had to leave the game after committing his fifth foul.

It was a free throw battle with under 45 seconds left in the game. Canada tied the game at 78  after splitting his free throws with 42 seconds left. Freeman then had a chance to bring the Beermen back on top but was unable to complete the basket.

After taking the 80-78 lead on Canada's free throws with 5 seconds left, the Warriors committed an unnecessary foul on Freeman which gave him a chance to send the game to overtime. Freeman showed his championship mettle as he calmly hit both free throws and, for the first time this season, sent the game into overtime. 

In overtime, the Warriors took a 88-84 lead from a three-point shot by Wuysang.The Beermen quickly struck back after Brian Williams' cleaned up an Avenido miss and gave the Beermen a 91-89 lead with 1:37 to go. However Wuysangmade a three with 1:22 left to give the Warriors the 92-91 lead. 

It was a nerve-wrecking game for ABL fans all over the region. Down by 3 with 15 seconds left, the Beermen held possession but chose not to go for the three. Freeman had a clean look at the basket but his running floater was a bit too long. The Warriors then escaped with a big win on the road.

"We have been in this situation before and we just grind it out. We are still trying to improve from game to game. it's a big win for us against a very tough San Miguel team," says Wuysang who was the player of the game.

Both teams are back in action next Wednesday the 13th of February 2013. The San Miguel Beermen will look to bounce back when they travel to Thailand to meet with the Chang Thailand Slammers at the Bangkok University gym while the Indonesia Warriors host the JobStreet.com Singapore Slingers at the Senayan Indoor Stadium in Indonesia. 

San Miguel Beermen: Freeman – 33, Williams – 22, Menk – 10, Banchero – 9, Avenido – 9, Taulava – 7, Rizada – 4, Hubalde – 2.

Indonesia Warriors: Wuysang – 20, Canada – 18, Daniels – 18, Thomas – 17, J. Smith – 16, R. Smith – 5, Sitepu – 4.

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