Beermen stretch ABL streak to 7By Jasmine W. Payo
Philippine Daily Inquirer
JUSTIN Williams turned the game into a dunkfest after Leo Avenido fueled an early surge as San Miguel Beer overwhelmed Jobstreet.com Singapore, 78-57, to stretch its winning streak to seven games in the Asean Basketball League (ABL) yesterday at Ynares Sports Arena.
“Their big men couldn’t match the energy of our big men,” coach Leo Austria said after his Beermen inched closer behind defending champion Indonesia (11-3) with a 10-3 record.
Chris Banchero topscored with 19 points built on a 62 percent shooting clip, while Avenido knocked in all but two of his 16 points in the first half.
Williams, who energized the squad with a handful of slams, had 14 points on top of seven rebounds and three blocks.
“Avenido stepped up and Banchero has been very consistent,” said Austria. “Williams is also different among the imports because it seems he intimidates everyone at the shaded area.”
Among the Singapore big men who couldn’t find their form was Donald Singleton, the seven-foot import who scored only a bucket in 37 minutes of action.
The Beermen, who wore a No. 22 patch on their jerseys in memory of former coach Bobby Parks, also tied the longest streak of the season set by Indonesia.
Banchero took charge in the second half as the Beermen held a double-digit spread the rest of the way and led by as many as 24 points, 61-37.
The Beermen couldn’t find their shooting groove in the first seven minutes, allowing the Slingers to build an early 10-5 advantage.
A Banchero layup ended the SMB drought before Avenido and Williams got in the scoring mix to help the Beermen close out the first quarter with a 15-5 surge and wrest the lead at 20-15.
After Avenido led all players with 12 points at the end of the opening quarter, Williams buried eight of the Beermen’s first nine points in the second period for their first double-digit buffer, 29-18.
Eric Menk, who suited up for the first time in two months due to a nose injury, helped pad the lead with back-to-back baskets while a couple more from Banchero gave the Beermen a 36-27 halftime cushion.
SAN MIGUEL BEER 78—Banchero 19, Avenido 16, Williams J. 14, Hubalde 9, Williams B. 6, Menk 5, Taulava 4, Cawaling 2, Rizada 2, Fortuna 1, Acuña 0, Thiele 0.
JOBSTREET.COM SINGAPORE 57—Jones-Jennings 19, Morrison 17, Wong 11, Cabatu 8, Singleton 2, Folkoff 0, Oh 0, Goh 0, Wu 0, Goh 0.
Quarters: 20-15, 36-27, 57-37, 78-57