CHRIS Banchero and Asi Taulava took over in a decisive stretch as San Miguel Beer repeated over a tougher Singapore side, 80-69, to clinch its eighth straight victory in the Asean Basketball League yesterday at Ynares Sports Arena.
Banchero and Taulava teamed up for 18 of San Miguel Beer’s 23 points in the pivotal third quarter where the Beermen led by as many as 12 points, 55-43, after a halftime deadlock at 34.
“They (Slingers) came out more aggressive,” said San Miguel coach Leo Austria. “Our complacency was there, but I’m happy to see everyone step up in the second half.”
The Beermen—who picked up their 11th triumph in 14 outings—also surpassed the longest winning streak set by defending champion Indonesia Warriors (12-4) this season.
“It’s now easier for us to catch up with Indonesia for the top spot,” said Austria.
Banchero topscored anew with 19 points built on a 62 percent shooting, his exact statistic in the Beermen’s 78-57 rout of the Slingers last week.
Proving his worth at 38, Taulava buried nine of his 15 points in the crucial third-quarter run on top of 10 rebounds and three assists.
Hans Thiele also came out as the surprise package in the second half as he delivered 11 points and four boards.
Unlike their previous meetings where the Beermen pull away early, the Slingers took control for most of the first half behind Filipino-American guard Phillip Morrison and Rashad Jones-Jennings, building leads by as many as eight, 30-22.
SAN MIGUEL BEER 80—Banchero 19, Taulava 15, Thiele 11, Rizada 9, Williams B. 9, Avenido 6, Williams J. 5, Luanzon 2, Acuña 2, Hubalde 2, Menk 0, Fortuna 0.
JOBSTREET.COM SINGAPORE 69—Morrison 28, Jones-Jennings 13, Singleton 8, Folkoff 7, Wu 5, Lim 4, Cabatu 4, Oh 0, Goh T. 0, Goh K. 0.
Quarters: 16-21, 34-34, 57-50, 80-69