SAN Miguel captured its first-ever Asean Basketball League crown after beating Indonesia, 70-55, in Game Three on Wednesday night at the Mahaka Square in Jakarta.
Asi Taulava scored 19 points, Chris Banchero added 10 points on the way to winning the Finals MVP award, and Leo Avenido had 10 points and 10 rebounds for the Beermen, who completed a sweep of the title series on the road to avenge last year’s Finals defeat to the Warriors.
The Beermen also returned the ABL crown to the Philippines on Independence Day. The defunct Philippine Patriots won the crown in the inaugural season of the league in 2009-2010 season.
“I’m very overwhelmed with this victory,” said San Miguel coach Leo Austria. “I’m so grateful for this victory. I would like to congratulate Indonesia. We really needed to work very very hard for this title.”
En route to the title, the Beermen won a league-record 16 straight games to finish the regular season with 19-3 win-loss slate.
San Miguel’s winning streak was snapped by Sports Rev Thailand Slammers at the start of the best-of-five semifinals, but the Beermen never lost another game after that.
Unlike the first two games where they won by an average margin of only three points, the Beermen pulled away in the second half to prevent another close game.
The Beermen took a 53-43 lead entering the fourth after holding to a 33-27 halftime lead. They never let up as Leo Avenido triple gave the away team a 61-46 advantage.
The Finals MVP honor was a deserved award for Banchero, who lost the regular season MVP crown to teammate Taulava after sitting out the final stretch of the regular season due to injury.
Mario Wuysang finished with 21 points for the Warriors.
San Miguel (70) – Taulava 19, Banchero 10, Avenido 10, Acuna 9, J. Williams 7, B. Williams 6, Fortuna 5, Hubalde 2, Menk 2, Cawaling 0.
Indonesia (55) – Wuysang 21, Daniels 15, Pringle 11, Thomas 5, Smith 0, Prihantono 0, Sitepu 0.
Quarterscores: 14-10; 33-27; 53-43; 70-55.