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    Beermen pull off great escape on Williams' late basket

    Jun 9, 2013
    San Miguel players celebrate after the close victory in Game Two of the ABL Finals. Jerome Ascano

    BRIAN Williams scored on a perfectly executed inbound play with 5.2 seconds left to lift San Miguel to a 66-65 victory over Indonesia and a 2-0 lead in the Asean Basketball League finals at the jampacked Ynares Sports Arena in Pasig City.

    Williams converted inside after a Leo Avenido inbounds pass for the marginal basket and San Miguel completed the escape when the Warriors' Fil-Am guard Stanley Pringle missed his shot at the other end.

    The pulsating victory earned the Beermen a two-game lead in the best-of-five finals. They go for a sweep when the series moves to the Mahaka Square in Jakarta on Wednesday.

    Game time is 8 p.m.

    Williams finished with 17 points and 16 rebounds for the Beermen, who also took Game One, 75-70.

    But it was San Miguel’s final play that made the big difference after Indonesia coach Todd Purves inexplicably called an ill-advised final time-out with six seconds left and the Warriors protecting a slim 65-64 lead.

    The Beermen had ball possession but with no more time-outs left when Purves made the questionable move.

    “That was the same play that Indonesia has been running all season,” said Williams. “We finally did it to them.”

    San Miguel coach Leo Austria also gave big credit to Avenido for dishing out the winning assist.

    “It was really set-up for Brian… Leo made the right decision, he followed the play to the letter. It was a well-executed play,” said Austria.

    The San Miguel coach said that they expected a tough game against the Warriors, but took advantage of that last-second Indonesia timeout.

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    “That game is either way. They gave us a good break that they called a timeout and we were able to execute the play,” said Austria.

    “It’s really hard to beat Indonesia because they are really prepared and they have good players,” he added.

    The game went down the wire as no teams led by more than four points in the pivotal fourth.

    Chris Banchero, who finished with 12 points, converted two free throws with 2:22 left for a 63-61 lead.

    Reigning league MVP Asi Taulava then got the Beermen back in front, 64-63, with 34.1 seconds to go following a split from the foul line.

    Pringle, however, scored off an isolation play in the final 22.7 seconds as the Warriors looked poise of  heading back to Jakarta with a win as they led 65-64.

    But the Warriors’ defense faltered, allowing Williams to score the game-winner.

    Pringle had 21 points while Chris Daniels added 15 points and 11 rebounds for the Warriors, who missed Filipino import Jerick Canada in the fourth period after injuring his left knee.

    The scores:

    San Miguel (66) -- B. Williams 17, Banchero 12, Avenido 8, Taulava 8, Acuna 7, Fortuna 6, J. Williams 6, Hubalde 2, Cawaling 0, Menk 0.

    Indonesia (65) -- Pringle 21, Daniels 15, Thomas 13, Canada 11, Wuysang 5, Sitepu 0, Smith 0, Prihantono 0, Restistanto 0.

    Quarterscores: 14-12; 37-34; 49-51; 66-65.

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    San Miguel players celebrate after the close victory in Game Two of the ABL Finals. Jerome Ascano
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