MACAU - San Miguel relied on a barrage of three-pointers midway through the fourth quarter to turn back the challenge of a gutsy Shenzhen Aviators side, 90-76, for a rousing debut in the East Asia League Terrific 12 Tuesday night.
The Beermen scored four straight baskets from downtown in a sizzling 12-2 run to finally pull away from the Aviators, 70-57, in a game marked by an impressive debut for SMB import Dez Wells.
Terrence Romeo hit back-to-back treys while Arwind Santos and Von Pessumal one each in putting together the most decisive run of the game watched by a partisan Filipino crowd at the Tap Seac Multisport Pavilion.
Wells, who will reinforce the grand slam-seeking Beermen in the season-ending PBA Governors Cup, gave a good account of himself in his first game with SMB after finishing with a team-high 29 points.
The Euroepan league veteran added seven points and eight rebounds in an all-around performance that earned him high marks from coach Leo Austria.
"He’s fit for our team. Like what I’ve said before, he’s a small version of Chris McCullough," said Austria, comparing Wells to the import who steered the Beermen to the championship of the last Commissioner's Cup.
"I think he will do well in our team."
Terrence Romeo added 17 points on 4-of-7 shooting from three-point range in leading the locals of San Miguel, which at one point led 33-13, in the second quarter despite missing June Mar Fajardo, Marcio Lassiter, Alex Cabagnot and Kelly Nabong.
But the Aviators battled back in the second half and threatened at 62-61 early in the fourth period.
The Chinese quintet trailed by only three points, 58-55, when suddenly San Miguel turned on the switch and started hitting its outside shots.
Christian Standhardinger added 11 points, Chris Ross contributed 11 points, six rebounds, five assists, and six steals, while the Beermen's other import Lester Prosper finished with 10 points and 15 rebounds.
The Beermen are now on top of Group B and could clinch an outright berth in the semis with another win over defending champion Ryukyu Golden Kings on Thursday.
Pierre De Shawn Jackson, the Aviators' lone import, finished with 18 points, eight rebounds, and nine assists.
San Miguel (90) – Wells 29, Romeo 17, Ross 11, Standhardinger 11, Prosper 10, Santos 9, Pessumal 3.
Shenzhen Aviators (76) – Jackson 18, He 11, Shen 10, Rong 9, Zhao 6, Bai 6, Lu 6, Han 5, He 3, Yang 2, Li 0.
Quarterscores: 21-11; 42-34; 62-58; 90-76.