MACAU -- Dez Wells, Lester Prosper, and Terrence Romeo provided the needed firepower for the San Miguel Beermen to end Ryukyu's East Asia Super League Terrific 12 reign with a 101-92 win on Thursday. San Miguel advances to the semifinals at the Tap Sea Stadium.
Wells provided highlight reel after highlight reel-an assortment of rim-rattling dunks and a clean block off Ryukyu import Demon Brooks' dunk attempt late in the game to punctuate San Miguel's strong finish. Wells, an NBA G League veteran, finished the game with 46 points, six rebounds and three steals as he toyed on Japan's backcourt with his array of moves to the basket.
The Beermen scored a two-game sweep of their Group B assignments to advance to the knockout semis where they face the Lance Stephenson-led Liaoning Flying Leopards. The semifinals begin on Saturday.
"After the loss of the defending champion, we knew they will come out with a fighting heart and we know they have a game plan for us," winning coach Leo Austria said after the game. "But we were just ready, and we just played our own game. We didn't mind what game plan they will throw at us
Romeo scored 15 of his 18 points in the opening half, helping the Beermen get out of an early eight-point deficit.
On the other hand, Prosper provided stability in the paint as he posted a near double-double effort of 15 points and eight rebounds.
The Beermen played without five-time PBA June Mar Fajardo, sharpshooter Marcio Lassiter and ace guard Alex Cabagnot. But their presence was hardly needed as the Beermen played with a lot of intensity and fire.
Organizers said 70 percent of the crowd were Filipinos working in Macau, and they were right as the Beermen felt the energy of the Pinoy fans even before tip-off.
Filipino fans cheered and reacted at almost every basket made the San Miguel.
The Golden Kings were a big disappointment. After winning this same tournament by an average of close to 16 points last year, the Japanese ballclub failed to win in the group stage. Ryukyu got blown out of the court by Shenzhen its tournament debut, 115-77.
SAN MIGUEL 101- Wells 46, Romeo 18, Prosper 15, Zamar 9, Standhardinger 7, Pessumal 5, Santos 3, Ross 2, Tubid 0
RYUKYU 92-Brooks 34, Kishimoto 12, Hasegawa 9, Kantake 9, Mitsuhara 8, Namizato 8, FukudA 4, Onodera 3, Tashiro 0
Quarterscores: 31-24, 53-46, 64-58, 101-92
- Paul Zamar didn't play in San Miguel's 90-76 win over Shezhen on Tuesday. But once his name got called, he came in prepared against Ryukyu, finishing with nine points, five rebounds and three assists in close to 20 minutes of action.
- Pinoy fans here chanted the name of veteran guard Ronald Tubid towards the final minute of the match. Austria fielded him in though the 37-year-old SMB guard missed all his fourth attempts.
- Austria says Alex Cabagnot is still day-to-day, but he has practiced the past two days with SMB. He will be a game-time decision on Saturday.