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    San Miguel earns return trip to ABL Finals after dispatching Slammers

    May 30, 2013
    San Miguel's Chris Banchero goes for a basket against two Thailand defenders . aseanbasketballleague.com

    PAOLO Hubalde and Asi Taulava made key contributions in a key third quarter breakaway of San Miguel’s 77-61 rout of Sports Rev Thailand Slammers to earn a return trip to the Asean Basketball League (ABL) Finals Thursday night at the Nimibutr Stadium in Bangkok.

    The Game 4 win allowed the Beermen to wrap up the best-of-five semifinal series against the Slammers, 3-1, and pave the way for title rematch against defending champion Indonesia Warriors.

    Game 1 of the best-of-five title series is set Friday next week, with the Beermen hosting the opener at the Ynares Sports Arena.

    Hubalde scored a team-high 16 points and sank all two of his three-pointers in the third period, while Taulava had six of his 15 markers during the same stretch when the Beermen outscored the home team, 20-11, to stretch a three-point halftime edge (33-30) to 53-41 going into the final 10 minutes.

    The Slammers never recovered from there as the Beermen pounded them no end, the lead eventually reaching as high as 20 points.

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    San Miguel won the final three games of the series after Thailand scored a stunning 62-60 win in the opener at the Ynares Center in Antipolo.

    San Miguel coach Leo Austria said the series against Thailand was a learning experience.

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    “We learned a lot from this series. That made us become tougher,” Austria said after the game.

    Taulava began the third with a deuce before Hubalde’s triple hiked the Beermen’s lead to 45-35.

    The rout began from then on.

    Compounding the woes of the Slammers were their horrible 5-of-22 shooting from the foul line.

    The scores

    San Miguel (77) -- Hubalde 16, Taulava 15, B. Williams 10, Avenido 9, Banchero 8, Fortuna 6, J. Williams 6, Menk 3, Luanzon 2, Acuna 0, Thiele 0.

    Thailand (61) -- Charles 15, Brannon 10, Baguion 8, Dasom 6, Klahan 5, Apiromvilaichai 5, Lertlaaokul 4, Sekteera 3, Ghogar 2, Khomkum 2, Gonzaga 1, Samerjai 0.
    Quarterscores: 21-13; 33-30; 53-41; 77-61.

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    San Miguel's Chris Banchero goes for a basket against two Thailand defenders . aseanbasketballleague.com
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