SAN Miguel tries to stay unbeaten on Saturday when it takes on the Saigon Heat at the resumption of the Beermen’s campaign in the Asean Basketball League at the Tan Binh Stadium in Ho Chi Minh City.
The Beermen go for their second win while coming off a two-week break, but can't afford to take it easy in the 8:30 p.m. game against a Heat team that has hit its stride after an opening loss.
The Heat claimed their second straight win after they stunned the defending champion Indonesia Warriors, 77-72, on their home floor last weekend.
Dior Alexandros Lowhorn and Philip Morrison had 26 and 15 points against the Warriors but it was Jai Reyes who provided the spark for the Heat with 14 points and nine assists.
The Heat’s two consecutive victories came after they bowed to the Malaysia Dragons, 80-70, in their opener.
Head coach Leo Austria said that the Beermen used the long break to recharge and familiarize themselves with their plays and system, which was almost non-existent in a jittery 64-53 win over the Warriors on January 11.
“I told them that it is not enough. Wala pa kaming naa-achieve especially after our first game. It was an ugly win,” said Austria.
Brian Williams and Gabe Freeman are expected to once again carry the Beermen against the Heat. Williams had 15 points and 19 rebounds in his SMB debut while Freeman finished with eight points after being saddled with foul trouble.
“Gabe is so familiar with the Philippine brand of basketball. Brian is a very intelligent player,” Austria said.
The Beermen and the Singapore Slingers are on top of the standings with similar 1-0 cards. The Dragons and Heat are tied at 2-1, while the Warriors have a 1-2 slate. The Thailand Slammers are winless in three outings.