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Fil-foreigners make waves in ABL tourney

By Jonas Terrado

Mike Williams

Mike Williams

Christian Standhardinger is not the only Fil-foreigner who is making heads turn in the ASEAN Basketball League.

In the first two weeks of the year, Standhardinger, the future San Miguel rookie, took a backseat after Fil-American Mike Williams led a torrid show that propelled the Saigon Heat to stunning victories over previously unbeaten teams Hong Kong Eastern and Chong Son Kung Fu.

Williams, who was actually drafted in the 2015 PBA D-League draft but failed to see action, started the week by dropping 39 points enough for the Vietnamese club to eke out a 121-115 overtime win over Hong Kong.

More importantly, Williams’ breakout performance ended the 7-0 start of Hong Kong.

He followed it up by scoring 24 points, playing all 40 minutes to help the Heat produce a 96-93 home win over Chong Son, which entered the contest on top with a perfect 4-0 slate.

Caelan Tiongson, another Fil-Am, had 23 points and seven rebounds in a losing effort.

The 25-year-old product of Biola University in Los Angeles has been one of the standout performers for the Chinese club, averaging 13.4 points, 7.4 rebounds and 3.2 assists.