ABL: Warriors shoot back to the top

The Indonesia Warriors returned to the top of the ASEAN Basketball League (ABL) standings with an 83-72 win over the Chang Thailand Slammers on Wednesday.

Mario Wuysang
Marcus Chhan

By Marcus Chhan

After having dropped down to second in the ABL courtesy of the San Miguel Beermen's win over the Jobstreet.com Singapore Slingers on Sunday, the Warriors responded with a hot shooting display from their guards to defeat the Thais and leapfrog the Filipinos.

Mario Wuysang and Jerick Canada combined for 39 points including 11 treys ensuring that Chris Charles' solo effort of 30 points and 10 rebounds for the Slammers were not enough to prevent a fourth straight defeat to the Indonesians.

It was the defending ABL champions who set the tone early through Chris Daniels (16 points, 13 rebounds) as he scored three buckets in a row to push the Warriors out on a 6-0 run which was eventually ended when Charles scored with 7:07 on the clock in the first quarter.

Charles had an excellent opening period with 10 points as the Slammers came from 11-2 down to lead 12-11 late in the first.

Warriors coach Todd Purves called for a full time-out at that point and whatever he said to his shooters in the huddle it worked a treat as they buried four consecutive shots from downtown and they started the second quarter up 23-16.

The impressive shooting continued for the Warriors from three point range with Wuysang in particularly devastating form.

He shot 6/8 from beyond the arc at the half leaving the Slammers trailing by 13 points as both teams made their way into the locker room.

Facing the possibility of a blowout loss, the Thais regrouped and were boosted in the third quarter when Florian Baguion's three point shot was quickly followed by a neat finish under the basket from Charles, and a coast-to-coast lay-up from their star point-guard.

Baguion (11 points, six assists, five steals) then found Charles beautifully inside for another easy two points and the Slammers were only down by five midway through the third period.

But if Baguion thought he was going to have it all his own way for the rest of the game, he was badly mistaken. Coming off a Wutipong Dasom screen on the baseline the Filipino tried to complete the play with a cutesy one handed floater but Daniels came out of the nowhere to smash the ball into the stands to lift Warriors' spirits.

Indonesia would lead 54-45 heading into the final quarter.

An exciting cameo - including a three pointer and two free throws - by new Slammers signing Luis Gonzaga brought Joe Bryant's chargers to within six points again with over six minutes remaining.

However, the Warriors finished the game strongly with Canada helping himself to four treys in the final period to put the seal on an 83-72 victory over the Slammers who are now 0-4 against Indonesia this season.

Steven Demon Thomas had eight points and 15 rebounds in the win but frequently let his frustrations get the better of him in his battle with Charles.

Slammers' rising star Dasom had a hard time shooting the ball as he finished with only four points on 2 of 12 shooting.

Next, the Warriors will host the Saigon Heat on Wednesday the 3rd of April at the Mahaka Square, Jakarta for the 8pm HKT tip-off. On the same day and same time, the Slammers will welcome the Westports Malaysia Dragons at Nimibutr Stadium, Bangkok.

Quarter scoring: Q1(23-16) Q2(17-11) Q3(14-19) Q4(29-26)

Full-Time: Warriors 83-72 Slammers

Warriors: Wuysang - 20 pts, Canada -19 pts, Daniels - 16 pts.

Slammers: Charles - 30pts, Baguion - 11pts.

ABL: Fixtures, Standings and Results

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