San Miguel barges into ABL finals after dominating Malaysia, 90-56By Celest R. Flores
MANILA, Philippines — San Miguel came out firing Saturday, dominating Westports Malaysia, 90-56, en route to the finals of the 3rd Asean Basketball League at Ynares Sports Arena in Pasig.
The Beermen, arranging a finals meet with Indonesia, broke the game wide open with a blistering 21-3 salvo in the first quarter that ballooned to a 35-point lead.
The ABL best-of-three finals kick off on June 16 with San Miguel holding the invaluable home-court edge.
Nick Fazekas churned out double-double digits with 21 points and nine rebounds, but it was Leo Avenido’s 18-point output which spelled the difference for San Miguel.
Avenido, who only had 10 points in the 77-100 loss in game two, sparked the onslaught with a barrage of three pointers in the second and third quarters.
Other locals like Junmar Fajardo and Christian Luanzon also had quality numbers with 11 and seven points, respectively.
“We shot well outside and we took the ball inside. They showed character,” said San Miguel head coach Bobby Parks.
The Dragons’ import Tiras Wade had another phenomenal game with 25 points — but Brian Williams, who has a lion’s share in Malaysia’s success, was held back by a severe upset stomach.
Malaysia matched San Miguel’s intensity in the opening quarter and even took the lead, 20-18, but simply lost stream in the second half.
Patrick Cabahug, who had 17 points in the last outing for the Dragons, was scoreless the whole game.