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    Warriors' fall enhances SMB bid for top seeding

    Apr 28, 2013
    Justin Melton's free throw with 14 seconds left proved the marginal point for the Dragons. Jerome Ascano

    SAN Miguel’s chance of landing the No. 1 seeding in the Asean Basketball League (ABL) semifinals was further enhanced when Westports Malaysia Dragons repeated over defending champion Indonesia Warriors, 86-85, in their match-up held in Palembang, Indonesia.

    Imports Marcus Hubbard and Gavin Edwards hit the go-ahead baskets late in the game as the Dragons secured their 10th win in 18 outings for third place in the standings.

    The Warriors, meantime, dropped to a 13-5 win-loss slate and are now two games behind the league-leading Beermen, who came out winners in their own closely fought match against the Saigon Heat on Saturday, 71-69.

    The Beermen, who claimed homecourt advantage in the best-of-three semifinals following their 12th straight victory, are now setting their sights on grabbing the top spot and arrange a showdown with the No. 4 team in the semis.

    The fourth spot is still being tightly-contested by Sports Rev Thailand Slammers and the Singapore Slingers, who were playing against each other as of posting time.

    Incidentally, the Beermen will next face the Warriors in their final match of the eliminations on May 3 at the Ynares Sports Arena.

    Malaysia’s win came two weeks after the Dragons stunned the Warriors in a similar thriller, 80-79, on their home floor in Kuala Lumpur, a victory that paved the way for the Beermen to assume the top spot in the standings.

    Down 75-78, Edwards scored a basket before Hubbard made back-to-back baskets to give the Dragons the lead, 81-78.

    Malaysia was holding on to a slim 83-82 lead when Edwards hit two free throws with 23 seconds left in the game. Justin Melton split his two charities for a four-point margin with 14 seconds left.

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    Steven Thomas scored a triple for the Warriors with two seconds left to settle the score.

    The Warriors were up, 65-54, entering the fourth but gave up a whopping 32 points against the Dragons in the final frame.

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    Justin Melton's free throw with 14 seconds left proved the marginal point for the Dragons. Jerome Ascano
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