JUSTIN Melton showed why he is a good fit to the Westports Malaysia Dragons as he joined forces with former PBA import Sammy Monroe to help beat the San Miguel Beermen, 82-76, on Saturday in the Asean Basketball League at the MABA Stadium in Kuala Lumpur.
San Miguel continued its roller-coaster ride early in the season as Monroe and Melton scored more than half of the Dragons’ scoring output to hand the Beermen their third loss in six outings.
The Beermen also dropped to third place behind Indonesia Warriors (6-2) and Saigon Heat (3-2), which will play Jobstreet.com Singapore Slingers on Sunday.
Only five players scored for Malaysia but that was enough for the Dragons to come up with the win.
Melton, a member of the Gilas Pilipinas cadet pool who recently played for the national team in two international tournaments, had 19 points in giving Malaysia a much-needed scoring threat in his first game with the team.
Meanwhile, Monroe, an ex-Barako Bull reinforcement, had 32 points, seven rebounds, and eight steals in his debut with the Dragons after replacing an injured Cedric Bozeman.
The Dragons snapped their four-game losing skid, improving their record to 3-4 win-loss for fourth place.
Gabe Freeman had 22 points, 14 rebounds, and three steals, while Chris Banchero added 20 points and five assists for the Beermen, who failed to replicate their 77-73 win over Chang Thailand Slammers last Tuesday.
The Beermen were still within three points at the end of the third period but the Dragons built a 77-69 lead on a triple by Melton and a deuce by Monroe.
Malaysia (82) – Monroe 32, Melton 19, Edwards 13, Cabahug 10, Tautuaa 8, Ooi 0, Loh 0, Chee 0, Kuppusamy 0.
San Miguel (76) – Freeman 22, Banchero 20, Williams 12, Avenido 10, Taulava 5, Menk 4, Acuna 3, Luanzon 0, Hubalde 0, Rizada 0.
Quarterscores: 15-19; 39-38; 59-56; 82-76.