ABL: Banchero leads SMB past Singapore

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CHRIS Banchero got San Miguel Beer off to an early run as the Beermen drubbed the Singapore Slingers, 66-55, in the Asean Basketball League yesterday at Singapore Indoor Stadium.

The Beermen jumped to a double-digit lead, 22-12, right in the first quarter and stayed ahead the rest of the way to claim solo second with a 4-3 record.

Banchero paced the Beermen with 16 points on top of five assists and four steals, two weeks after the Filipino-Italian guard also starred in their road game win versus Thailand.

Asi Taulava, who added 10 points and grabbed 13 rebounds, also stepped up for San Miguel’s two American imports who were held to a single digit.

The Slingers, who had Kyle Jeffers leading with 20 markers and 12 boards, slipped to third place with a 4-4 slate.

San Miguel’s explosive import Gabe Freeman, who averages a team-best 20 points, tied his lowest output of the season of eight points.

Matt Rogers also had a paltry debut of eight markers and four boards, while Eric Menk and Leo Avenido combined for 15 points.

Rogers, who recently saw action for the San Mig Coffee Mixers in the PBA, only joined the Beermen a few days ago to replace the injured Brian Williams.

Singapore’s Filipino imports also struggled with Junjun Cabatu scoring just eight and Don Dulay missing all 11 attempts from the field before finishing with two markers.

The Beermen, who have yet to win back-to-back this season, fly back for a home game against Westports Malaysia Dragons Saturday. Jasmine W. Payo

The scores:

SAN MIGUEL BEER 66—Banchero 16, Taulava 10, Freeman 8, Rogers 8, Menk 8, Avenido 7, Cawaling 5, Rizada 4, Acuna 0, Hubalde 0, Luanzon 0, Burtscher 0.

SINGAPORE 55—Jeffers 20, Jennings 8, Cabatu 8, Wong 8, Folkoff 5, Dulay 2, Oh 4, Go 0, Wu 0, Goh 0.

Quarters: 22-12, 38-28, 55-42, 66-55

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