A VENGEFUL San Miguel Beermen whipped the visiting Saigon Heat, 100-74, to get even after their sorry loss last week to the same team in the Asean Basketball League (ABL).
The Beermen pulled away from a tight contest behind a vicious second-quarter run that saw the hosts outscore the Heat, 30-15, before an appreciative crowd at the Ynares Sports Center in Pasig on Friday.
By the time the game was halfway through, the Beermen already sat on a 55-35 cushion from a 25-20 count after one quarter.
“It's a wake-up call for us,” admitted San Miguel coach Leo Austria of their 92-89 loss to the Heat in Saigon last week.
“After our three consecutive wins in our tune-up games, we became complacent that's why,” said the soft-spoken mentor.
“We know this team (Heat) is a great team and it takes a lot of hard work to beat them. (But) we learned our lessons in our loss to them. I'm just happy that my players followed our game plan.”
Former PBA best import Gabe Freeman topscored for 21 points for San Miguel before fouling out late in the game, while fellow reinforcement Brian Williams added 18.
Asi Taulava and Chris Banchero had 14 points apiece, even as reigning ABL MVP Leo Avenido and RJ Rizada each finished with 10 for the Beermen, who improved to 2-1 (win-loss).
The Beermen dished off 26 assists compared to the 16 of the Heat. They also outrebounded the visitors, 40-27.
Import Dior Lowhorn finished with 29 points to pace Saigon (3-2), while David Palmer added 18.
Filipino import Jai Reyes, who torched the Beermen for 22 points in their first meeting, was held to just four points this time.
The Beermen led by as much as 100-65 en route to winning their first home game of the season.
San Miguel (100) - Freeman 21, Williams 18, Banchero 14, Taulava 14, Avenido 10, Rizada 10, Menk 9, Luanzon 0, Acuna 0, Hubalde 0, Cawaling 0, Burtscher 0.
Saigon (74) - Lowhorn 29, Palmer 18, Tieu 9, Dehesa 6, Morison 6, Reyes 4, Trien 2, To 0, Ngo 0, Ly 0.
Quarterscores: 25-20; 55-35; 80-53; 100-74.