To Be Number One Basketball Challenge: Day 1 Wrap-Up

To Be Number One Thailand vs. Saigon Heat

Tournament hosts the To Be Number One Thailand team proved to be too much for AirAsia ABL rookies Saigon Heat in the first match up of the To Be Number One Basketball Challenge in Bangkok, Thailand today. The host team, which consists of Thailand National players and two imports, defeated the Heat 78-55 and virtually dominated throughout the entire game. Chris Kuete of the To Be Number One Thailand Team led all scoring with 21 points.


On the other side, newcomers Saigon Heat were looking a little bit shaky and appeared to be struggling from the field. Their field goal percentage was only 25%. The Heat does have the most talked about import with former Denver Nuggets Julius Hodge in their squad for this tournament, but unfortunately Hodge was struggling to find his shooting groove in this game and only managed 8 field goals out of 26 tries finishing with 19 points. Jonathan Jones added another 13 points for the Heat.



San Miguel Beermen vs. Indonesia Warriors

In the second game of Day 1, San Miguel Beermen were having a slow start as the Indonesia Warriors came out the game firing early. The Warriors had a 7-0 run in the first 2 minutes of the game which forced San Miguel Beermen coach Bobby Parks to call a quick time out. Even after the time out, Chris Branchero and co were still struggling to find their rhythm and found themselves down 14-27 at the end of the first quarter.

The second quarter saw the Beermen begin their comeback however, as Italian-Philipino point guard Chris Branchero took over this quarter by scoring 10 points, helping the Beermen to cut their deficit to just 6 points by halftime and they only stepped it up even further in the third quarter. The Beermen’s defense was very solid allowing the Warriors to score only 13 points and finally took the lead when Benny Fernandez hit a three-point shot with 5 minutes left on the clock. At the other end of the court, the Indonesia Warriors went cold, missing a lot of open shots. The third quarter ended with the Beermen leading 63-54.

Going into the last quarter, the Warriors tried to go to the post with their 7 foot import Robbie Jackson but Jackson’s 9 points in this quarter was not enough to get the team their first win as the Indonesia Warriors. The Warriors did not seem to have any answers for Beermen point guard Chris Branchero, who seemed able to get to the basket at will. He finished the game with 21 points and the final buzzer saw the Beermen defeat the Warriors 76-70.

“I asked the team to come out with more focus in the second half and we got the result that we wanted,” said San Miguel Beermen coach Bobby Parks about the win.

Statistically the Indonesia Warriors were still intimidating, with Robbie Jackson leading all scoring with 22 points and their other import Reggie Warren finishing the game with a double-double, 16 points and 10 rebounds.  Warriors’ coach Todd Purves was understandably very disappointed with the result. “I’m not happy with the result. We should have won this game,” he said after the game.