ASI Taulava and Jeric Fortuna led an early run as San Miguel extended its winning streak to 15 with a 76-69 win over Sports Rev Thailand Slammers in its penultimate game in the Asean Basketball League regular season on Saturday at the Ynares Sports Arena in Pasig City.
Taulava and Fortuna sparked the first-half breakaway that saw the Beermen post several 11-point leads early, setting the tone for the rout that gave the team its 18th win in 21 games with one last game against the Westports Malaysia Dragons left to be played on May 17.
The Slammers dropped to a tie for fourth place with the Singapore Slingers with a 7-14 win-loss mark.
“We want to win every game,” San Miguel coach Leo Austria said. “Winning is a lifestyle and that’s what we want to develop.”
Taulava had nine of his 15 points in the first half to go with 12 rebounds, 11 coming in the first half. Fortuna scored seven of his nine points in the first half as the Beermen opened a 38-27 halftime lead that soon ballooned to 20 points, 55-35, on an RJ Rizada basket.
Thailand coach Joe 'Jellybean' Bryant expressed disgust over the officiating and asked all his players to stay on the bench in protest at the 4:48 mark of the fourth with the Beermen way ahead, 71-51.
The players returned to the court and the Slammers were able to cut down the lead to 73-64 but there was little time left in the game.
San Miguel import Justin Williams also finished with a double-double effort of 10 points and 14 rebounds while swatting six shots.
Christien Charles had 30 points and 18 rebounds for the Slammers.
San Miguel (76) – Taulava 15, J. Williams 10, Avenido 9, Fortuna 8, Hubalde 7, B. Williams 7, Menk 6, Rizada 5, Acuna 4, Cawaling 3, Thiele 2, Burtscher 0.
Thailand (69) – Charles 30, Brannon 10, Gonzaga 7, Kongkum 6, Dasom 5, Apiromvilaichai 3, Lertlaokul 2, Ghogar 2, Baguion 2, Samerjai 2, Sekteera 0, Klahan 0.
Quarterscores: 22-12; 38-27; 61-42; 76-69.