Monster effort from Dez Wells helps San Miguel advance to Terrific 12 semis
MACAU—San Miguel marched its way to the semifinals after defusing Ryukyu, 101-92, in the final group stage game of the East Asia Super League: The Terrific 12 Thursday at Tap Seac Sports Pavilion.
The Beermen, the lone Philippine team left in contention, ended the group stage undefeated at 2-0 to set up a semifinals match up with Group D top seed Liaoning.
San Miguel shrugged off a slow start where it trailed 12-4 and controlled the momentum after it turned the tied with an 11-0 run, capped off by Dez Wells’ layup, with a minute left in the opening quarter.
The grand slam seeking PBA champions managed to fend off all attempts from the Golden Kings to close in, thanks to Wells who came up big on both ends on the floor.
He nailed a booming triple to give San Miguel a 72-66 lead 1:53 in the third quarter after the Japanese ball club came within three points.
The newest San Miguel import also delivered a massive denial on Demon Brooks at the top of the rim with less than three minutes left to play and San Miguel holding a 94-86 lead.
“From the start, we knew this would be a difficult game for us and after they lost in their last game we knew they would come out fighting hard,” said San Miguel head coach Leo Austria.
“We know that they have a good game plan but we’re ready for anything that will happen.”
The 6-foot-5 Wells finished with a game-high 42 points and six rebounds to lead the Beermen while Terrence Romeo added 18 points.
Lester Prosper manned the paint for the Beermen, who playedl without the injured June Mar Fajardo, to register 15 points and eight boards.
Brooks led the Golden Kings with 34 points and 11 rebounds.
As some sort of consolation, Austria let 37-year-old veteran Ronald Tubid into the game much to the delight of the predominantly Filipino crowd.
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