ABL: Slammers rally; Beermen, Warriors win

The Chang Thailand Slammers overturned a 15-point deficit to beat the Jobstreet.com Singapore Singers 58-56 on Sunday.

Wutipong Dasom

In the first game on the final day of ASEAN Basketball League's (ABL) Hoops Fest, Chris Charles came up big for the Thais with 19 points and 15 rebounds.

In an interesting move, the Slammers did not name import Darrius Brannon in their starting five and in truth the Thais struggled badly early on.

Rashad Jones-Jennings had his own way inside scoring 14 points in the first quarter as the Slingers built up a 17-2 lead midway through the first.

However, the Slammers rallied back with seven first quarter points from Charles and a trey from new signing Luis Gonzaga.

The Slingers responded with a run of their own. Rashaad Singleton managed to spin his defender far too easily on the baseline for an easy two handed dunk which helped the Singaporeans hold a seven point lead at half-time.

The Singapore outfit's two big men in Jones-Jennings and Singleton were dominant in the first half - they actually combined for 18 rebounds while the Slammers only had 16 rebounds as an entire unit in the first two quarters of play.

This forced the Thais to make adjustments for the second half and they worked as the Singaporeans scored just 22 points in the final two periods.

Slammers point-guard Florian Baguion (11 assists) was heavily involved as his team took the lead for the first time in the game on a Wutipong Dasom (11 points) dunk to make it 39-38 early in the third.

And while Santiago Cabatu (19 points) had a terrific second half - including 13 points in the third quarter - for Singapore, it was left to Dasom to seal the victory for the Slammers with an open three pointer with 40 seconds to go for the 58-56 win.

Jones-Jennings finished with 16 points and 16 rebounds in the losing effort.

The San Miguel Beermen ended their weekend trip to Vietnam undefeated as they easily accounted for the Saigon Heat 80-55 on Sunday.

After running out 20-point winners against the Jobstreet.com Singapore Slingers on Friday at Hoops Fest, Leo Austria's team swept to another commanding win on Sunday with the duo of Chris Banchero (20 points) and Brian Williams (18 points, 14 rebounds) starring.

Without key import Dior Lowhorn, who sat out the game with a viral infection, the home side lacked size and inside presence - they quickly went down 21-8 in the first quarter.

Banchero hurt the Heat by scoring 10 points in the opening period while Saigon center David Palmer (11 points) was held scoreless on 0/2 shooting.

Palmer did start the scoring off in the second quarter with a nice bank shot but the period belonged to newly crowned ABL Slam Dunk champion Justin Williams of San Miguel.

A handful of blocks and dunks from J. Williams punctuated a 14-0 run for the visitors but a courageous display from Heat guard Jai Reyes kept the home crowd interested.

Reyes scored 11 of the Heats' 26 points in the half and in one standout play also bravely put his body on the line to draw contact from a charging J. Williams going for another dunk. The officials would tag the American with a travel which came as some consolation for Reyes (14 points) whose head slammed against the floor from the force of the collision with the San Miguel player.

New Heat signing Chris Sumalinog nailed a late three pointer to make 41-26 at half-time.

Palmer then hit a three to begin the third but it proved to be false hope for Heat coach Jason Rabedeaux as the Beermen continued to stroke the ball nicely at over 50% from the field and never let their lead slip away.

And the game was over just two minutes into the fourth quarter when a quick pair of uncontested baskets, first from B. Williams and then Banchero, pushed the lead back out to over 20 points.

The Beermen eventually went on to win 80-55 to extend their winning streak to five games in the ABL.

The Heat drop down to the bottom of the standings following Sunday's win for the Slammer in the early tip-off.

The Indonesia Warriors stayed top of the ASEAN Basketball League table with a hard fought 84-67 win over the Westports Malaysia Dragons.

The Warriors had temporarily slipped down to second following the San Miguel Beermen's blowout against the Saigon Heat earlier on Sunday, but the defending champions saw off the Dragons in style to close out Hoops Fest.

Chris Daniels filled up the stat sheet for the Warriors with 17 points, 17 rebounds, 5 assists, 6 steals and 3 blocks but it was really a sensational third quarter shooting performance from the Indonesians which earned them the ‘W'.

The Dragons led 34-32 at the half but were outscored 36-12 in the third quarter as John Smith drained four three pointers on his way to 26 points for the game.

Smith was 6/10 from three point range in total.

Gavin Edwards had 18 points and 10 rebounds to keep the Dragons in with a chance at a win late into the fourth quarter but in the end the Warriors were simply too hot from beyond the arc with 13 three pointers from 26 attempts.

Dragons point-guard Justin Melton added 16 points in the loss.

ABL: Fixtures, Standings and Results.

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