The Westports Malaysia Dragons and the Jobstreet.com Singapore Slingers joined the San Miguel Beermen as early winners in the 2013 season of the ABL.
As usual, the imports had a field day dominating the competition. David Palmer and Dior Lowhorn paired up for 57 points and 30 rebounds in Saigons first home outing of the season. It was all for naught, though, as the Dragons own imports, Cedric Bozeman and Gavin Edwards, combined for 39 points and 27 rebounds to lead the visiting Malaysian squad to its first W.
On Sunday, the Slingers own imports, Rashad Jones-Jennings and Kyle Jeffers, held their own against the Slammers reinforcements, Justin Howard and Michael Earl. The main difference here was the support from the locals. Singaporean natives Wong Wei Long, Mitchell Folkoff, and Desmond Oh all chipped in as the Slingers joined the Dragons and the Beermen atop the table with 1-0 slates.
Game Recaps: WESTPORTS MALAYSIA DRAGONS over SAIGON HEAT, 80-70 The Westports Malaysia Dragons kept their cool in the fourth quarter as they held off the Saigon Heat 80-70 in their first regular season game. Cedric Bozeman filled up the stats sheets with 25 points, 14 rebounds, 5 assists and 5 steals for the Dragons, who overcame a phenomenal performance from Heat big man David Palmer.
Palmer, a 6'9'' center, showed off his range as he knocked down 8 three-pointers on his way to a monster game with 34 points and 18 rebounds. Dior Lowhorn added 23 points and 12 rebounds for the Heat, who finished with 28% FG shooting.
The Heat's ASEAN imports trio Phillip Morrison, Karl Dehesa and Jai Reyes missed 18 of their 21 shots combined.
Unexpectedly, Dragons' head coach Ariel Vanguardia did not start his stars Guga Batumalai and Moala Tautuaa. However, the Dragons did not show any rustiness in the first quarter as they built up a big lead after making a 15-0 run.
The Heat fought back in the second half and Palmers back-to-back to three point shots pulled the Heat within one point at only 1:49 left in the third quarter. Unfortunately for the hosts, the Dragons answered the Heat's run immediately and stretched their lead to 59-53 at the end of the period.
It was a battle in the fourth quarter as the Heat continued to try and defend their homecourt, but it seemed like every time the Heat found a way to get closer, the Dragons found an answer. Lowhorn converted 4 free throws in a row to cut the Heat's deficit to 64-68 with 5:38 left, but Guga, Cabahug, and Bozeman scored 9 points to push the lead back to 77-66, which eventually sealed the win for the Dragons.
Gavin Edwards contributed 14 points, 13 rebounds and 7 blocks while Guga added 11 points off the bench. The Dragons also received a valuable contribution from Ooi Ban Sin, who finished with 9 points.
JOBSTREET.COM SINGAPORE SLINGERS over CHANG THAILAND SLAMMERS, 56-50 The JobStreet.com Singapore Slingers started their ABL campaign with a 56-50 win at home against 2010-2011 Champions, the Chang Thailand Slammers, in front of a supportive home crowd at the Singapore Indoor Stadium.
The Slingers new import, Rashad Jones-Jennings, managed a double-double with 11 points and 13 rebounds before he was taken out on a stretcher because of a cramp late in the fourth quarter. Kyle Jeffers and Wong Wei Long contributed 10 points apiece.
Justin Howard put in a double-double for the Slammers with 13 points and 14 rebounds. The Slammers also had a good contribution from their other import, Michael Earl, who scored 10 points and 10 rebounds.
Both teams were cold from the field in the first quarter, shooting under 25%. The Slingers, however, were able to hold a 2-point lead going into the second period 10-8.
The Slingers played a good defensive game in the second quarter, pressuring the passing lanes well. They put in an 11-2 run and gained a 12-point lead midway through the period at 26-14 on a three point shot by Desmond Oh. Woeful shooting from the Slammers also helped the Slingers maintain their lead, and they went into the halftime break up, 35-23.
The Slammers answered with a big third period and capped it with a run to pull within just three points of the Slingers with less than a minute to go on a basket from Froilan Baguion. A woeful third period for the Slingers was salvaged by a Mitchell Folkoff 3-pointer at the buzzer to maintain a 43-37 Singapore lead.
Folkoff also opened up the scoring in the final period only to have the Slammers answer with back-to-back baskets. A fast break close to the midway point ended with a decisive dunk by Jeffers that increased the Slingers lead back to 8 points.
With two minutes left, the Slingers received a scare when Jennings came down awkwardly, clutching his leg. He did not return, though he indicated it was only a hamstring cramp following the contest.
Down by 4 points with 6 seconds left, the Slammers made a critical mistake by not boxing out Wei Long, who missed his free throw. The Slammers were forced to put him on the line again as he calmly hit both free throws to ice the game.
Even though the Slammers lost, head coach Joe Bryant was very pleased with the efforts from his team.
"I think they were a little nervous, but I'm very proud of all my players," said Bryant after the game.
Things get no easier for Thailand, who will play two home games this week: Wednesday against the Saigon Heat and Friday against the Westports Malaysia Dragons.
Source: Game recaps were compressed and compiled from AseanBasketballLeague.com.
Acibadem Universitesi Istanbul (TBL) tabbed experienced 34-year old American forward Jason Maxiell (201-118kg-83, college: Cincinnati). He played recently at TNT Ka Tropa in Filipino PBA league. In 2005 New Jersey Flyers selected him as second overall pick in USBL draft. The former University of Cincinnati standoutis in his twelfth (!!!) season in pro basketball. Maxiell's team won UAE Federation Cup in 2016. He has played also professionally in China (TianJin Steel), NBA (Detroit Pistons... [read more]
Acibadem Universitesi Istanbul (TBL) tabbed experienced 34-year old American forward Jason Maxiell (201-118kg-83, college: Cincinnati). He played recently at TNT Ka Tropa in Filipino PBA league. In 2005 New Jersey Flyers selected him as second overall pick in USBL draft. The former University of Cincinnati standoutis in his twelfth (!!!) season in pro basketball. Maxiell's team won UAE Federation Cup in 2016. He has played also professionally in China (TianJin Steel), NBA (Detroit Pistons, Orlando Magic and Charlotte Hornets) and United Arab Emirates (Al Ahli). Let's have closer look into Maxiell's outlook:
He possesses the combination of good size and advanced strength. Maxiell's armspan combined with his leaping ability enable him to play much taller than his 6-7 height and he is explosive around the basket.
Marcus Simmons (ex Phoenix) signs at Drive - 2 days ago
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Grand Rapids Drive landed 29-year old forward Marcus Simmons (198-98kg-88, college: USC, agency: Interperformances). He played in the summer at Phoenix in Filipino PBA league. In three games he averaged impressive 18.7ppg, 11.0rpg, 4.0apg and 1.0spg. Simmons ended the last season at the Bulls. But the most of that year he spent at another team Fort Wayne Mad Ants where in 49 games he had 6.6ppg, 4.2rpg and 1.6apg. In 2012 (a year after he left the college) Simmons was drafted by Frisco Te... [read more]
Grand Rapids Drive landed 29-year old forward Marcus Simmons (198-98kg-88, college: USC, agency: Interperformances). He played in the summer at Phoenix in Filipino PBA league. In three games he averaged impressive 18.7ppg, 11.0rpg, 4.0apg and 1.0spg. Simmons ended the last season at the Bulls. But the most of that year he spent at another team Fort Wayne Mad Ants where in 49 games he had 6.6ppg, 4.2rpg and 1.6apg. In 2012 (a year after he left the college) Simmons was drafted by Frisco Texas Legends (D-League) in sixth round (88th overall). The former University of Southern California standoutis in his sixth season in pro basketball. Among other achievements Simmons played in the final of D-League in 2015. He received also All-Pac-10 Defensive Player of the Year award back in 2011 at his college time. Simmons has played previously professionally in Japan (Yokohama B-Corsairs) and D-League (Canton Charge).
Fajardo number one in Philippines for round 8 - 3 days ago
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Center June Mar Fajardo (210-C-89) put on an extraordinary performance in the last round for top-ranked SM Beermen, receiving a Asia-basket.com Player of the Week award for round 8. The 27-year old player had a double-double of 25 points and 17 rebounds, while his team beat Rain or Shine (#3, 5-3) 107-101. The game was between two of the league's top four teams. It allowed SM Beermen to consolidate first place in the Filipino PBA. SM Beermen have a solid 8-1 record. Fajardo has many years... [read more]
Center June Mar Fajardo (210-C-89) put on an extraordinary performance in the last round for top-ranked SM Beermen, receiving a Asia-basket.com Player of the Week award for round 8. The 27-year old player had a double-double of 25 points and 17 rebounds, while his team beat Rain or Shine (#3, 5-3) 107-101. The game was between two of the league's top four teams. It allowed SM Beermen to consolidate first place in the Filipino PBA. SM Beermen have a solid 8-1 record. Fajardo has many years of experience at SM Beermen, through which he has constantly improved. June Mar Fajardo has solid league stats. He is in league's top in points (3rd best: 20.0ppg) and averages impressive 1.7bpg and 65.5% FGP.
The second best player in last round's games was 24-year old Terrence Bill Romeo (180-PG-92) of league's second-best Globalport. Romeo had a very good evening with 32 points, 5 rebounds and 4 assists. Of course he led Globalport to another comfortable win 110-96 over the lower-ranked NLEX RW (#11, 2-6) being unquestionably team leader. This victory allowed Globalport to move up to second position in the standings. His team's 5-3 record is not bad at all. Romeo is one of the most experienced players at Globalport and has a reputation of one of team's most reliable players. He belongs to the best scorers in the league with 27.6ppg (#1). He also recorded 5.9 assists per game.
Third on the list of top players last round was forward Reynel Hugnatan (193-F-78) of Meralco Bolts (#12). Hugnatan scored 28 points and grabbed six rebounds. Despite Hugnatan's great performance Meralco Bolts lost 92-105 to slightly higher-ranked Mahindra (#10, 2-5). But his team cannot count on just a single shooter as he also needs help of the other teammates. Meralco Bolts can only dream about fighting for top spots in the league. They have extremely bad season and 2-7 record places them at the very bottom of the standings. Too bad for Hugnatan he does not play for a better team. But maybe if he did, his season stats would not be that high. Hugnatan has a very solid season. In 8 games in Philippines he scored 13.0ppg. He also has 5.6rpg, FGP: 51.8% and 3PT: 42.9%.
Other top performing players last week: 4. Calvin Abueva (190-F-88) of Alaska Aces - 23 points, 9 rebounds and 2 assists 5. Vic Manuel (193-F-87) of Alaska Aces - 25 points and 8 rebounds 6. Jayvee Casio (178-PG-86) of Alaska Aces - 23 points, 6 rebounds and 5 assists 7. Arwind Santos (193-F-81) of SM Beermen - 17 points, 15 rebounds and 5 assists 8. Mac Belo (190-F-93) of Blackwater - 21 points and 7 rebounds 9. Stanley Pringle (184-PG-87) of Globalport - 20 points, 5 rebounds and 7 assists 10. Sean Anthony (193-F-86) of NLEX RW - 16 points, 9 rebounds and 5 assists
The Player of the week is chosen based on efficiency calculation, but also including game result, importance of the game, if played recorded double-double/triple-double, etc. The efficiency formula is a combination of various formulas used by different basketball organizations/leagues. We got involved many basketball scouts and journalists to assure it's accuracy. The formula: 1.5*PTS + 3* (REB+AST+ST+BL-TO) - 2*BSAG - 4*PF + 3*PFRV + 4* (2FGPM+3FGPM) + 1.5*FTM - 3* (2FGPA-2FGPM) - 3* (3FGPA-3FGPM) - (FTA-FTM)
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