Beermen rip Dragons, clinch 2nd ABL title slotBy Jasmine W. Payo
Philippine Daily Inquirer
LEO AVENIDO finally regained his take-charge form as the San Miguel Beermen overwhelmed the Malaysia Westports Dragons, 90-56, yesterday to clinch the last title berth in the Asean Basketball League at the Ynares Sports Arena.
The Beermen clinched the deciding Game 3 of the best-of-three series with Avenido, Chris Banchero and American imports Nick Fazekas and Duke Crews bouncing back from lackluster outings.
“When we went to Malaysia [for Game 2], we didn’t run our offense and defense, we were complacent,” said San Miguel coach Bobby Parks. “This time, we executed well in our defensive and offensive plays. We got the ball inside and also kicked it out to our shooters.”
“In Game 2 each one of us was out of sync and had a bad game, so this was a good game to get back,” added Fazekas, who buried 21 points and pulled down 19 rebounds.
Avenido knocked in 18 points, including 12 in a stretch that sparked the Beermen to a 66-45 lead after the third period.
“We expected that from him,” Parks said of Avenido, a candidate for season MVP.
The top-seeded Beermen will go up against the Indonesia Warriors in the best-of-three championship starting this Saturday.
Indonesia surprisingly swept the AirAsia Philippine Patriots, 2-0, in the other semifinal series last week.
Crews also had a double-double of 15 points and 11 boards for the Beermen, while Banchero got off the a hot start before finishing with 10 points, nine assists and four steals.
SAN MIGUEL BEER 90—Fazekas 21, Avenido 18, Crews 15, Fajardo 11, Banchero 10, Luanzon 7, Dimaunahan 6, Ferriols 2, Fernandez 0, Yap 0, Baguion 0, Gonzales 0.
WESTPORTS MALAYSIA 56—Wade 25, Williams 12, Ng 8, Pacana 5, Loh 3, Belasco 2, Kuppusamy 1, Batumalai 0, Kwaan 0, Cabahug 0, Chee 0.
Quarters: 18-20, 37-35, 66-45, 90-56