Former Philippine Basketball Association import Justin Williams will suit up for the first time for San Miguel Beer as the Beermen eye a fourth straight Asean Basketball League victory against the Singapore Slingers this afternoon at the Tahn Bihn Stadium in Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam.
Williams will temporarily take the place of Gabe Freeman, who needs to fully recover from a strained MCL (media collateral ligament) for another two weeks. Williams last suited up for the Globalport Batang Pier team in the PBA Commissioner’s Cup.
“We are quite fortunate to get Williams in time for our two straight games against Singapore and Saigon this weekend,”said SMB head coach Leo Austria, who is excited about having the 6’10” Williams, who normed 13.43 points, 18 rebounds and 4.57 blocks in seven games in the PBA.
“Justine will be a big help to Asi Taulava and Brian Williams when we face the bigger teams in the tournament,”added Austria, whose team is in solo second with a 6-3 record behind leader Indonesia Warriors (7-3).
The San Miguel-Singapore 4:30 p.m. tussle (5:30 pm in Manila) is one of three games slated in the opener of the three-day Asean Basketball League Hoops Fest 2013.
Other opening games at the Tahn Bin Stadium pit Indonesia versus Chang Thailand (2 p.m. in Vietnam, 3 p.m. in Manila) and Westport Malaysia Dragons against Saigon Heat. (7 p.m. in Vietnam, 8 p.m. in Manila).
On Saturday (March 16), the ABL Hoopfest will feature the ABL Slam Jam that includes the slamdunk contest, a three-point shooting competition and musical performances at the Phu Tho Stadium. A basketball clinic and community outreach are also slated during the day.
Williams is entered in the slam dunk competition with Wuttipong Dasom, Moala Tautuaa, Chris Daniels, Delvin Goh and David Palmer. Last season’s MVP Leo Avenido will try his luck in the three-point shooting contest.
On the final day (March 17) of the hoops fest, the matchups are Chang Thailand against Singapore, San Miguel versus Saigon Heat and Indonesia against Westport Malaysia.
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