Banchero cheers best in show Beermen

After leading the San Miguel Beermen to six straight wins, Chris Banchero is in no doubt which team is top dog in the ASEAN Basketball League (ABL) at the moment.

Chris Banchero
Marcus Chhan

By Marcus Chhan

Banchero led all scorers with 19 points and added six assists in Sunday's 68-61 win over the Singapore Slingers at the Singapore Indoor Stadium.

Victory was a sixth in a row for the Beermen who matched Indonesia Warrior's 9-3 record this season but went top of the table courtesy of a superior head-to-head record against the defending champions.

When asked whether he felt his side were now playing the best basketball in the ABL, Banchero told FOX Sports: "Definitely."

"I think we are really striding right now, we're playing really good together.

"Everybody said we got off to a rocky start [at 3-3] but we had a brand new team and we were just learning to play together. Now we got six straight [wins], it feels good."

Key to this impressive run, which includes ending title rivals Warriors' seven-game winning streak, has been the leadership of the Fil-Italian guard.

Banchero has averaged 19 points in the Beermen's last six wins under coach Leo Austria.

"That's my job. Coach puts it in my hands to be a leader and as a point guard you are always going to be a leader," he said.

Meanwhile, Slingers coach Neo Beng Siang has the difficult task of trying to pick his team's spirits up after a sixth straight defeat which leaves them 4-9 for the 2013 campaign and fifth in the table.

Having been down by more than 20 points late in the third quarter, the Slingers can at least take heart from closing to within eight points of the Beermen with 2:33 remaining in Sunday's 68-61 defeat.

"Exactly. Towards the end of the third quarter, I told the guys they need to give something to our fans," he said.

He added: "I am really proud of how the team played in the last quarter. If we can maintain and keep playing with the same kind of intensity, we will be a tough team to beat."

The Slingers will finish off March hosting the Saigon Heat next Sunday at the Singapore Indoor Stadium before an away trip to Ynares Sports Arena, Manila to face the Beermen on April 6th.

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