Beermen a cinch to nail eighth straight victoryBy Jasmine W. Payo
Philippine Daily Inquirer
SAN MIGUEL Beer tries to set the season’s longest winning streak of eight in the Asean Basketball League today against a Jobstreet.com Singapore team it routed last week, but coach Leo Austria wants his Beermen to focus on a more important goal.
“I hope our streak will continue, but of course, that’s not our goal,” said Austria. “Our goal is to be on top of the standings.”
Game time is at 4 p.m. at Ynares Sports Arena in Pasig City where the Beermen aim for an 11th victory in 14 games to close in to solo leader Indonesia Warriors (12-3).
Already riding high on Banchero’s breakout year, the Beermen got another boost with the recent entry of import Justin Williams, an efficient shot blocker who made San Miguel’s frontline even more intimidating.
“Banchero has really established himself as the scorer and leader of this team,” said Austria. “Our big men have also been one of our advantages.”
The Beermen routed the Slingers last week, 78-57, with Banchero scoring 19 points built on a 62 percent shooting clip on top of five assists and three steals.
With the victory, the Beermen tied the longest streak of the season at seven set by the defending champion Warriors.
Leo Avenido, last season’s Most Valuable Player, set the tone for the lopsided win with 16 points and Williams finished with 14 markers, seven rebounds and three blocks.
“I’m satisfied with how we’re running the system, particularly in defense,” said Austria. “Actually, the reason why we sustained our run is because of defense.”
The Slingers, near bottom with a 5-10 record, are relying on Rashad Jones-Jennings, Donald Singleton, Philip Morrison, Wong Wei Long and Filipino import Junjun Cabatu.
Although Jones-Jennings and Morrison teamed up for 36 points, the Beermen held the seven-foot Singleton to just a bucket in their last meeting.