San Miguel Beer routed Malaysia, 90-56, to clinch the second finals berth in the Asean Basketball League at the Ynares Sports Arena in Pasig.
Nick Fazekas and Leo Avenido bounced back from poor Game Two outings, finishing with 21 and 18 points, respectively, as the Beermen set a title duel against the Indonesia Warriors.
“I expected that from them,” Beermen coach Bobby Ray Parks Sr. said.
“We were just complacent (in Game Two). But tonight we came out, executed well on both ends. We got the ball inside to our big guys.”
Up by just two, 37-35, the Beermen pulled away in the third period, outscoring the Dragons 29-10.
Malaysia tied its worst playoff loss ever in 2010 when the Dragons lost to the Philippine Patriots, 77-42, in Game One of their semifinal series.
“We just stepped it up on defense,” Parks said. “And early in the second, we took too many outside shots so we started getting the ball inside. We also got stops.”
Tiras Wade was spectacular as usual, leading the Dragons with a game-high 25 points, but Filipino import Patrick Cabahug was held scoreless after registering 17 in Game Two.
Game One of the Finals between the Beermen and the Indonesia Warriors will be on June 16 also at Ynares Sports Arena.
“Indonesia’s a tough team. I’ve been saying that all-season long,” Parks said. “They match up with us so well. It’ll be a good series.”
“We’re gonna have our hands full,” Fazekas said. “But we’ll have one week of preparation and we’ll be ready.”
SMB – Fazekas 21, Avenido 18, Crews 15, Fajardo 11, Banchero 10, Luanzon 7, Dimaunahan 6, Ferriols 2, Fernandez 0, Yap 0, Baguion 0, Cabatu 0, Gonzales 0
Malaysia – Wade 25, Williams 12, Ng 8, Pacana 5, Loh 3, Belasco 2, Kuppusamy 1, Batumalai 0, Lau 0, Kwaan 0, Cabahug 0, Chee 0
Quarterscores: 18-20, 37-35, 66-45, 90-56