SAN MIGUEL Beer coach Leo Austria got the “complete turnaround” he wanted as the Beermen blasted Sports Rev Thailand, 91-60, yesterday to level their semifinal series at 1-1 in the Asean Basketball League (ABL) at Philsports Arena.
The Beermen pulled away early behind Chris Banchero and Leo Avenido, building an 18-point spread at halftime, 42-24, on the way to setting the second most lopsided victory in the fledgling league’s four seasons.
“Last game we didn’t have a strong start because of complacency, our players thought we can beat them easily,” said Austria after the top-seeded Beermen rebounded from a shock Game 1 loss to the Slammers, 62-60, last Thursday.
“It’s the attitude of the players, it was a complete turnaround. The intensity was very high unlike in the first game.”
The upset that Austria described “most embarrassing” snapped San Miguel’s record 16-game winning streak.
Banchero drilled in 14 points to lead the Beermen’s balanced charge on top of four rebounds, three steals and a couple of assists.
Game 3 of the best-of-five series is set on Tuesday at 7 p.m. (8 p.m. Manila time) at Nimibutr Stadium in Bangkok.
The 31-point dumping was the second biggest winning margin since the Philippine Patriots routed Malaysia by 34 points, 77-43, in 2010 and the Beermen also crushed Malaysia by the same margin, 90-56, last year.
SAN MIGUEL BEER 91–Banchero 14, Acuña 14, Fortuna 13, Avenido 12, Taulava 9, Cawaling 7, J. Williams 7, B. Williams 7, Menk 5, Hubalde 3, Luanzon 0, Thiele 0.
SPORTS REV THAILAND 60–Dasom 11, Charles 9, Klahan 7, Gonzaga 7, Baguion 7, Brannon 6, Apiromvilaichai 5, Kongkum 2, Lertlaokul 2,Ghogar 2, Sekteera 2, Samerjai 0.
Quarters: 22-13, 42-24, 60-37, 91-60