SAN MIGUEL saw its 13-point fourth quarter lead evaporate as Indonesia hit timely three-pointers to pull off a 98-96 overtime victory over the Beermen on Friday in the Asean Basketball League at the Ynares Sports Arena in Pasig City.
Mario Wuysang, the 2011 league MVP, hit two of his four triples in overtime to lead the Warriors with 20 points and pull off a comeback victory over a Beermen that led, 68-55, going to the final stretch.
With the win, defending champion Indonesia rose to the solo lead with a 4-2 record while San Miguel, the same team the Warriors beat in last season’s final, dropped to an even 2-2 mark.
The Warriors lost a 74-61 decision to the Beermen on opening day but had been on a roll since with four straight victories.
Head coach Todd Purves, however, was quick to shrug off the win early in the season.
“The big games are played in May and June,” said Purves, referring to the postseason. “But this is a wonderful opportunity to improve your team and if you have a chance to play a team like San Miguel, you really have a chance to measure where we are at.”
Gabe Freeman had a game-high 33 points for the Beermen, who went on a 9-0 run in the fourth quarter to open that 68-55 lead. Brian Williams’ three-point play gave the Beermen a 74-64 lead with less than four minutes to play.
But the Warriors knocked down six triples in the endgame to complete the fightback.
Wuysang and Fil-American John Smith cut down the deficit to four points with back-to-back triples to start Indonesia’s rally, while import Chris Daniels' free throws gave Indonesia its first lead of the game, 77-76, off Chris Banchero’s fifth foul.
Filipino Jerick Canada completed two free throws after a San Miguel miss, 80-78, with 5.1 seconds to play but Freeman answered with two crucial free throws with 1.4 seconds left to force overtime.
Wuysang ended a 5-0 run with triple for an 88-84 Indonesia lead in overtime. He again knocked down a triple to reclaim the advantage for the visitors, 92-91.
Indonesia (98) – Wuysang 20, Canada 18, Daniels 18, Thomas 17, J. Smith 16, R. Smith 5, Sitepu 4, Prihantono 0, Indrajaya 0.
San Miguel (96) – Freeman 33, Williams 22, Menk 10, Banchero 9, Avenido 9, Taulava 7, Rizada 4, Hubalde 2, Acuna 0, Doruelo 0.
Quarterscores: 18-21; 36-47; 53-59; 80-80; 98-96.