SMB import Dez Wells plays down matchup vs Lance Stephenson in semis
MACAU—San Miguel booked its slot in the semifinals of the East Asia Super League: The Terrific 12 without much of an issue after sweeping Group B for a 2-0 record.
Waiting for the Beermen in the penultimate round is Liaoning that has the talented and entertaining Lance Stephenson as one of its imports.
On first glance, the matchup between Stephenson and Dez Wells is the obvious thing to look at but San Miguel’s high-octane wingman insisted that the game won’t focus on just the two of them.
“It’s not a one-on-one thing, that’s disrespectful to our teammates,” said Wells, who led the Beermen to their 101-92 victory over Ryukyu in their final game in Group B.
Wells, though said he’s honored to play against Stephenson, whom he has looked up to since he was in high school.
“I watched Lance when I was growing up since he’s a little older than me,” said Wells, who is two years younger than the 29-year-old Stephenson. “I’ve watched him for a long time and I admired his game.”
“It’s an honor to line up against him and you have to appreciate competitors like that who will make you better.”
Wells had 42 points and six rebounds against the Golden Knights, hiking his average to 25.5 points, 7.0 rebounds, 3.5 assists, and 3.0 steals in his first two games with the Beermen.
Stephenson, meanwhile, averaged 28 points, 6.0 rebounds, and 7.0 assists.
Wells also gave his teammates the due credit for the success San Miguel had in the group stage.
Helping Wells carry the Beermen’s offense in against Ryukyu were Terrence Romeo and Lester Prosper who had 18 and 15 points, respectively, while Christian Standhardinger and Paul Zamar provided energy off the bench.
“I can’t take any credit for tonight, I give it to my teammates and coach because they made a great job of putting us in the right position,” said Wells.
Standhardinger had seven points, five rebounds, four assists, and three steals while Zamar added nine points, on 4-of-5 shooting, five rebounds, one steal, and one block.
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