Brian Williams had 19 points, Asi Taulava scored 18 points and the San Miguel Beermen continue their historic run as they pushed their winning streak to 12 games by defeating the Saigon Heat 71-69 at Ynares Sports Arena, Philippines.
The Beermen had to sweat out Chris Sumalinog's missed 3-pointer as the buzzer sounded before ensuring their their 15th win of the season. With the win, the Beermen has a stronghold to the top spot of the ABL standings table with a record of 15-4.
Jai Reyes had a strong first quarter, scoring 9 points on 4 for 4 shooting. Reyes' shot with 26 seconds left in the first quater gave the Heat a 19-17 lead.
Val Acuna sank a corner three-point shot to open the second quarter and sparked a 13-0 run for the Beermen who are still playing without the injured Chris Banchero. B. Williams hit a 17-footer off a pick and roll with Jeric Fortuna and J. Williams knocked down a fade-away jumper in the lane that capped off the run, giving the Beermen a 30-19 lead midway through the second quarter.
A lay-up from Leo Avenido and a pair of free throws from B. Williams kept the Beermen's lead in the double digits at 53-42 with 4:17 left in the third quarter. But the Heat had a strong finish to end the third quarter by managing an 11-4 run capped off by a lay-up from David Palmer which cut the Heat's deficit to 57-53.
Taulava, who dedicated this game to his newborn daughter, was unstoppable on the post early in the fourth quarter. Taulava scored on a lay-up off a nice bounce pass from J. Williams which gave the Beermen a 68-63 lead with 5:48 left.
The Beermen had a 70-66 lead with 2:43 left on a lay-up by Avenido. Then former Beermen Norman Gonzales knocked a three-pointer to get the Heat within one point with 29 seconds on the clock. Down to 10 seconds left, the Heat sent B. Williams to the free throw line. B. Williams split his free throws to set up a last second three-point attempt by Sumalinog. Unfortunately, Sumalinog's three-pointer did not go down.
David Palmer finished with 24 points and 14 rebounds while Justin Howard had 19 points and 12 rebounds. Reyes added 16 points for the Heat.
The Beermen will have a big game against the Indonesia Warriors for next week's ABL Friday Basketball on FOX Sports (tip-off at 5PM HKT, delayed telecast on FOX at 8PM HKT). The Heat will host the JobStreet.com Singapore Slingers on Thursday May 2nd at Tan Binh Stadium for the 8:30PM HKT tip-off.
Quarter scoring: Q1(17-19) Q2(19-10) Q3(21-24) Q4(14-16)
Full-Time: Beermen 71-69 Heat
San Miguel Beermen: B. Williams - 19, Taulava - 18, J. Williams - 8, Acuna - 7, Avenido - 6, Hubalde - 4, Cawaling - 3, Fortuna - 2, Rizada - 2, Thiele - 2.
Saigon Heat: Palmer - 24, Howard - 19, Reyes - 16, Sumalinog - 4, Ngo - 3, Gonzales - 3.