ABL: Beermen complete Slingers sweep

The San Miguel Beermen completed a five-game sweep of the Jobstreet.com Singapore Slingers this season after an 80-69 win at the Ynares Sports Arena.

Chris Banchero,Phillip Morrison.

With this win, the Beermen stretched their win streak to eight games and strengthened their position at the top of the ABL standings table with a record of 11-3.

Chris Banchero continued to carry the Beermen and played at an MVP level as he finished with 19 points. Asi Taulava followed with a double-double after posting 15 points and 10 rebounds. The Beermen also received a big boost from forward Hans Thiele who scored 11 points off the bench.

Still in the hunt for the fourth and final playoffs spot, the Slingers were determined to steal this game. Phillip Morrison got it going in the first quarter. Morrison finished the first quarter with a baseline running shot over Paulo Hubalde. The Fil-am guard scored 12 points in the first ten minutes and the Slingers took a 21-16 lead.

Down by 8 points after a Rashaad Singleton dunk, the Beermen responded with a 10-0 run capped by back to back baskets from Justin Williams, giving the Beermen a 32-30 lead. However, the score was deadlocked at 34 at halftime.

The Beermen opened up the third quarter with a reverse lay-up from Brian Williams. Then Banchero drove hard to the basket for back to back lay-ups which gave the Beermen a 40-34 lead. Midway throught the third quarter, the Beermen kept attacking the Slingers' defense. The Beermen went up 54-43 after RJ Rizada completed a three-point play.

But the Slingers just wouldn't go away. Wu Qingde opened the final quarter by sinking a shot that danced around on the rim before it went in, shaving the Beermen's lead to 5 points. The Slingers then had a chance to cut it to three points but Morrison missed an off-balance jumpshot and Jennings missed a left handed hook shot. The Beermen capitalized on the Slingers' misses by scoring on a fastbreak. Justin Williams ran the break and finished a lay-up and drew the foul, this play was followed by another lay-up from Banchero off a nice pass from Hubalde which gave the Beermen a 62-52 lead.

Despite limited playing time this season, Thiele made an impact in this game. Thiele was everywhere on the court. His putback and free throw gave the Beermen a 72-58 lead. The former University of the East star then put the dagger in after scoring on a one dribble pull up to send the game away with 2:37 left.

It was a tough night for the Slingers as they had to play without their local star Wong Wei Long. Desmond Oh then suffered a shoulder injury late in the fourth quarter. Morrison was a bright spot for the Slingers in this game as he finished with an ABL career-high 28 points. Jennings added 13 points and 11 rebounds for the Slingers who are now on the fifth position with 5-11.

The Beermen will get on the road on Wednesday night as they take on the Saigon Heat at Tan Binh Stadium, Vietnam for an 8:30PM HKT start. The Slingers will get a chance to get closer to the fourth seeded Sports Rev Thailand Slammers when they battle each other on Sunday April 21st for the 8PM HKT tip-off.

Quarter scoring: Q1(16-21) Q2(18-13) Q3(23-16) Q4(23-29)

Full-Time: Beermen 80-69 Slingers

Beermen: Banchero - 19, Taulava - 15, Thiele - 11, B. Williams - 9, Rizada - 9, Avenido - 6, J. Williams - 5, Hubalde - 2, Luanzon - 2, Acuna- 2.

Slingers: Morrison - 28, Jennings - 13, Singleton - 8, Folkoff - 7, Wu - 5, Cabatu - 4, Lim - 4.

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