Matt Rogers finally proved that he’s a worthy replacement as San Miguel Beer drubbed Westports Malaysia, 77-66, Saturday to nail its first back-to-back win in the Asean Basketball League (ABL) at Ynares Sports Arena.
Rogers—who recently took over the spot of injured import Brian Williams—fueled the Beermen’s second-quarter surge to finish with 21 points and 10 rebounds.
Chris Banchero, the most consistent among the Beermen in the young season, also had 21 as the Beermen pulled away by as many as 15 points in the third period, 55-40.
The win allowed the Beermen to keep solo second with a 5-3 record even minus suspended import Gabe Freeman.
Rogers’ double-double effort came after a measly debut of eight points and four rebounds in the Beermen’s 66-55 road game-win over the Singapore Slingers last week.
Freeman, who averages a team-best 18.29 points and 10.43 rebounds, served a one-game suspension for figuring in a scuffle against the Slingers.
The Beermen also played minus backup big man Eric Menk, who recently underwent a nasal bone operation.
But even without the two vital cogs, the Beermen avenged their loss to the Dragons two weeks ago, 82-76, where imports Sammy Monroe and Justin Melton came out firing.
Gavi Earl Edwards led the Dragons this time with 22 points and 16 rebounds as Monroe (12 points) and Melton (six points) were held below their usual output.
SAN MIGUEL BEER 77—Rogers 21, Banchero 21, Rizada 10, Avenido 6, Taulava 6, Cawaling 6, Thiele 4, Hubalde 3, Luanzon 0, Burtscher 0.
WESTPORTS MALAYSIA 66—Edwards 22, Tautuaa 17, Monroe 12, Melton 6, Ng 3, Ooi 3, Loh 3, Kuek 0, Batumalai 0, Cabahug 0.
Quarters: 19-20, 36-30, 57-46, 77-66