MANILA, Philippines – The Zamboanga Valientes capped off a rousing debut in the ASEAN Basketball League (ABL) Invitational with a late breakaway win over Louvre Indonesia, 108-94, at the OCBC Arena in Singapore on Tuesday, January 3.
Former PBA import Antonio Hester did not disappoint in his leadership role and posted a huge double-double of 35 points and 11 rebounds on 15-of-26 shooting, plus 4 steals, and 3 assists.
Fil-Am guard Jeremy Arthur stuffed the stat sheet with 21 points, 7 boards, 6 dimes, and 5 steals, while import Ryan Smith tallied an 18-point, 16-rebound double-double with 4 swipes and 3 blocks in just 21 minutes off the bench.
Controversial former JRU player John Amores also made the most of his new opportunity away from a troubled NCAA past and scattered 16 points in under 21 minutes with 5 boards, and 2 steals to go with a game-high plus-minus of +27.
Coming off an 87-83 lead midway through the fourth quarter, Louvre suddenly found itself on the receiving end off a 13-0 blitz, ending with a Hester layup at the 3:45 mark for the 96-87 Valientes advantage.
Zamboanga never let up from that point as it hiked its endgame run to 25-7, capped with an Arthur layup with 37 ticks left to set the final score.
Louvre import Marcus Hammonds paced the loss with 32 points, 7 rebounds, 5 assists, and 3 steals, while Alioune Tew saw his monster line of 24 points on 10-of-15 shooting, 22 boards, 4 swipes, 2 dimes, and 2 blocks go to waste in the heartbreaking ending.
The Valientes will have a two-day break before going on a grueling stretch with three games in as many days, starting with a Friday, January 6, 6 pm assignment against the Saigon Heat of Vietnam.
Zamboanga 108 – Hester 35, Arthur 21, Smith 18, Amores 16, Lingganay 6, Carino 2, Cawaling 2, Cadiz 2, Jumao-as 2, Chan 2, Bernardo 2, Belorio 0.
Indonesia 94 – Hammonds 32, Tew 23, Enguio 14, Johnson 12, Tuasela 4, Pratama 3, Da Silva 3, Pelmelay 2, Gunawan 0, Saputra 0, Islamy 0.
Quarters: 19-24, 39-46, 65-74, 108-74.