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    Triple-overtime work pays off as SMB finishes regular season on high

    May 17, 2013

    SAN Miguel survived three overtimes in outlasting the Westports Malaysia Dragons, 107-104, in its final elimination round game in the Asean Basketball League on Friday night at the MABA Stadium.

    Leo Avenido broke a 104-104 deadlock with a running shot before Paolo Hubalde split his two charities that was enough to lead the Beermen to their 16th straight victory in the first triple-overtime game in the league's history.

    The Beermen wrapped up their regular season with a grindout win to finish with a 19-3 win-loss slate before they face the fourth-ranked Sports Rev Thailand Slammers in the best-of-five semifinals.

    “It’s a good thing we experienced this kind of game,” said San Miguel coach Leo Austria after the game.

    The game actually had no bearing for both teams as they have already sealed their place as the No. 1 and No. 3 seed in the playoffs. But the Beermen had to survive a furious challenge by the Dragons.

    “This team (Malaysia) is really a contender. It’s just a matter of time before they get better. It’s an amazing game,” said Austria as the game ended about three hours before their scheduled return flight to Manila.

    The Beermen started the second overtime with a 6-0 run but the Dragons were able to take the lead on a triple by former San Beda Red Lion Julius Armon, 98-96. Val Acuna gave the lead back to the Beermen with a layup but Moala Tautuaa answered with a layup of his own with eight seconds to play.

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    Avenido cramped up late in the third overtime but not before scoring a floater for a 106-104 lead. Malaysia failed to convert on its next possession that led to Hubalde’s split charities.

    The Dragons slid to 12-9 with still one game left against the Saigon Heat left to play on Sunday.

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