Source : AKTV
The expansion San Miguel Beermen posted their first win in the ASEAN Basketball League, defeating the AirAsia Philippine Patriots, 78-70, Saturday in a battle of two Filipino teams at the Ynares Sports Arena in Pasig City.
Dalron Johnson had 23 points and 11 rebounds, new import Doug Thomas had 14 points, six rebounds and two blocks, and Leo Avenido had 14 points for the Beermen, who redeemed themselves by taking their first ABL victory after dropping their opening game.
San Miguel, one of the favorites for the title this season, lost to the Westports Malaysia Dragons in overtime last Saturday, but the Beermen showed what they are capable of doing against the Patriots.
“We won the preseason tournament last year and the guys tend to say that they are unbeatable so that loss was a good wake-up call,” said Beermen coach Bobby Parks.
It was an excellent wake-up call indeed for the Beermen, who practically kept their lead from the first quarter until the end and stopped the Patriots’ numerous attempts to make a comeback in the second half.
“The players executed and defensively, they came to play. We stopped turning the ball over so much and we cut that down from the first half and we came up with the win,” said Parks, a seven-time Best Import in the PBA.
The closest the Patriots came was three points on an Erick Rodriguez lay-up, 63-60, but Johnson hit back-to-back jumpers followed by a three-pointer by Avenido for a double-digit lead, 70-60.
Anthony Johnson tallied 25 points, last year’s Best Import Nakiea Miller finished with 15 points while Al Vergara netted 13 for the Patriots, who dropped their first game after a lopsided victory over the Bangkok Cobras in the opener.
The Beermen held an 11-point lead to start the third quarter, 43-32, then entered the fourth with a flourish as Junmar Fajardo dunked in his own miss for a 60-50 advantage.
SAN MIGUEL BEERMEN 78—Johnson 23, Thomas 14, Avenido 14, Fernandez 8, Fajardo 6, Rizada 4, Dela Pena 3, Luanzon 2, Baguion 2, Cabatu 2, Mangahas 0.
AIRASIA PHILIPPINE PATRIOTS 70—Johnson 25, Miller 15, Vergara 13, Rodriguez 6, Ramos 5, Fernandez 4, Wainright 2, Ybanez 0, Arellano 0, Raymundo 0, Juntilla 0, Larong 0.
Quarters: 21-17, 40-32, 60-50, 78-70