JERIC Fortuna sparked a third quarter run to help lift San Miguel to a 78-61 win over Sports Rev Thailand Slammers on Wednesday in the Asean Basketball League at the Ynares Sports Arena in Pasig City.
Fortuna led a 7-2 mini-run to wrap up the third quarter, giving the Beermen some cushion in the fourth on the way to their 14th straight victory.
The Beermen improved their win-loss record to 17-3 with two more games left in the eliminations, while the Slammers are now tied with Singapore in fourth place with a 7-13 record.
The two teams meet again for a rematch on Saturday at the Ynares Sports Arena.
San Miguel coach Leo Austria praised the efforts of back-up guard Fortuna, who is beginning to take a bigger role as main playmaker Chris Banchero remains saddled with injuries.
“For me, it’s a breakout game for him,” Austria said. “Hinihintay ko ’yung game na ganyan sa kanya kasi you’ll never know kung ano mangyayari kay Chris.”
The Slammers actually led 26-17 in the second quarter but was limited to only two points as the Beermen took a 31-28 halftime lead.
Brian Williams led the Beermen with 16 points and 20 rebounds, while Asi Taulava added 12 markers.
Christien Charles had a game-high 28 points for the Slammers. Froilan Baguion had six points, nine assists, and six steals but Austria expressed satisfaction in containing the former Beerman.
“Even though he (Charles) is doing well, na-prevent namin ang supporting cast especially Froilan. Kahit papano na-limit namin ang offense niya,” Austria said.
San Miguel (78) – B. Williams 16, Taulava 12, Rizada 11, Fortuna 9, Acuna 8, Hubalde 7, Cawaling 6, Avenido 4, J. Williams 2, Luanzon 2, Thiele 1, Menk 0.
Thailand (61)—Charles 28, Samerjai 6, Baguion 6, Apiromvilachai 5, Ghogar 4, Dasom 3, Brannon 2, Kongkum 2, Gonzaga 2, Klahan 2, Lertlaokul 1, Sekteera 0.
Quarterscores: 15-19; 31-28; 54-45; 78-61