Melton, Monroe help Malaysia fend off San Miguel in ABLBy Celest R. Flores
MANILA, Philippines – San Miguel Beermen continued to grope for consistency, losing to Westports Malaysia Dragons, 76-82, on Saturday at the 4th Asean Basketball League (ABL) in Kuala Lumpur.
The Beermen failed to draw inspiration from last Wednesday’s 77-73 victory over the Chang Thailand Slammers, also on the road.
Staring at a 79-70 Malaysia lead with a minute to go, San Miguel used whatever was left in its tank and pulled to within four, 80-76.
But last year’s finalists, which dropped their record to 3-3, ran out of time.
Fil-Italian guard Chris Banchero still finished with a game high 20 points on 22 shots, along with five assists and a steal.
Gabe Freeman had 22 points and 14 rebounds, while Brian Williams, who was helped off to the bench with pain on the right knee midway the payoff period, added 12 markers and 16 boards.
Two new reinforcements, Sammy Monroe and Fil-American guard Justin Melton, meanwhile, led Wesports Malaysia in effectively stunning the visiting San Miguel.
Monroe drilled in 32 points, seven rebounds, six assists and eight whopping steals while Smart Gilas Pilipinas Cadet member Melton added 19 points.
Melton, Monroe and another Filipino, Patrick Cabahug, took turns in knocking down triples in the fourth quarter which helped the Dragons pad their lead.