CHRIS Banchero turned it on from the get-go once again as San Miguel Beer streaked to a fifth straight victory with an 80-55 rout of the Saigon Heat to grab a share of the lead in the Asean Basketball League (ABL) last night at Tan Binh Stadium in Saigon.
Making a strong case for the MVP plum with his consistent game, Banchero got SMB off to a blistering start by drilling 10 of the Beermen’s 21 first-quarter points while the Heat managed only eight.
Banchero finished with a team-high 20 points while Brian Williams collected 16 markers, 14 rebounds, four steals and a block.
The Beermen joined idle defending champion Indonesia on top with an 8-3 record.
Justin Williams, the replacement for the injured Gabe Freeman, also came out strong with 11 points, 12 boards and four blocks.
On Saturday night, Williams also made a good first impression by bagging the slam dunk crown in the league’s weekend Hoop Fest.
“It feels great to win the slam dunk crown,” said Williams, who even wore sunglasses for his final attempt where he tallied 49 points. “I am very happy to be with San Miguel as they treat me like family.”
Williams, who had a brief stint with Globalport in the PBA, debuted with nine blocks, seven points and 10 rebounds in the Beermen’s 73-53 win over Singapore on Friday.
He advanced to the finals along with Saigon Heat’s David Palmer, who finished with 48 points. The duo edged Thailand’s Wuttipong Dason, Malaysia’s Moala Tautuaa, Indonesia’s Chris Daniels and Singapore’s Delvin Goh.
SAN MIGUEL BEER 80—Banchero 20, Williams B. 16, Williams J. 11, Taulava 8, Rizada 7, Hubalde 4, Acuña 3, Cawaling 3, Fortuna 3, Avenido 2, Luanzon 2, Thiele 0.
SAIGON 55—Reyes 14, Palmer 11, Wisniewski 10, Sumalinog 9, Vergara 7, Ngo 2, Ly 2, Tieu 0, Trieu 0.
Quarters: 21-8, 41-26, 55-40, 80-55