SMB clobbers Saigon; Williams slam dunk king

By Olmin Leyba, The Philippine Star

Posted at Mar 18 2013 02:22 PM | Updated as of Mar 18 2013 10:37 PM

MANILA, Philippines - San Miguel Beer sideswiped Saigon, 80-55, to extend its win-streak to five and join Indonesia in the lead of the Asean Basketball League yesterday at Tan Binh Stadium in Vietnam.

Taking the heat out of the home team with their stifling defensive pressure, the Beermen imposed their will early and tore the game apart, 37-12, that set the tone for the rout.

It was the Beermen’s fifth straight win for an overall record of 8-3 as they caught up with the defending champion Warriors at the top. The Warriors were playing Westports Malaysia Dragons at presstime.

“Defense is the key factor for us, especially on their big men, we gave them a hard time,” said coach Leo Austria, referring to the trio of Brian Williams, Justin WIlliams and Asi Taulava who made life miserable for Heat’s David Palmer.

Palmer was left to man the shaded lane as partner Dion Lowhorn was sidelined by stomach flu. He finished with 10 points, a far cry from his average of 19.88.

Brian Williams (16 points, 14 rebounds, one block), Justin Williams (11 markers, 12 boards, four blocks) and Taulava (eight points, two blocks) held the fort as SMB held Saigon to a 35 percent shooting clip.

Chris Banchero presided over the offense with 20 points, making half of them in the opening period.

The Heat took their sixth straight loss for 3-7 overall.

Meanwhile, Import Justin Williams soared above everybody else as he topped the AirAsia Slam Dunk contest Saturday night.

The 6-foot-9 Williams, the sub for injured reinforcement Gabe Freeman, executed a monstrous windmill while wearing sunglasses to beat Saigon Heat’s David Palmer for the inaugural crown.

Williams electrified the crowd when he put on the shades and ran his way towards the hoops for a throwdown that netted four 10s and a 9 for a winning total of 49 points against Palmer’s 48. Palmers slammed it off a high bouncing pass from teammate Jai Reyes during his earlier turn to get three 10s and a pair of 9s from the judges.

“It feels great to win the slam dunk crown. I’ve been through some rough times recently, but I am very happy to be with San Miguel Beer as they treat me like family,” said Williams.