SAN MIGUEL coach Leo Austria credited the team’s two victories on the road to the steady plays of Chris Banchero at the backcourt.
Banchero earned the respect of his coach after averaging 20.7 points, 4.7 assists, and 2.7 steals during the Beermen’s three-game road swing in the Asean Basketball League (ABL).
More importantly, Austria said Banchero has galvanized the team.
Even though the team failed to sweep their road games in a two-week stretch, Austria was satisfied with Banchero’s performance.
“I have been very happy with Banchero in the last three games,” Austria said in an interview with the ABL website. “He has been focused and has played very well. He has been doing a great job of directing the team.”
During the Beermen’s 77-73 win over Chang Thailand Slammers last February 13, Banchero exploded for 26 points while scoring the team’s final 14 points. He also dished out four assists and tallied three steals.
San Miguel lost to the Westports Malaysia Dragons, 82-76, last February 16, but Banchero accounted for 20 points and five assists in a losing effort.
The Fil-Italian guard raised in Seattle had an another brilliant all-around game last Sunday against the Jobstreet.com Singapore Slingers, posting 15 points, four rebounds, five assists, and four steals in a 66-55 victory.
Banchero said he hopes the win will end the Beermen's roller-coaster ride in the season.
“We really needed this win. We played great defense the whole game and we played hard the whole game. It was a great team win,” said Banchero.
Banchero and the rest of the Beermen finally return home to post the Westports Malaysia Dragons at the Ynares Sports Arena in Pasig on Saturday before taking on defending champion Indonesia Warriors on March 8 at the Tennis Indoor Senayan in Jakarta.