MACAU -- Even with a roster decimated by injuries, San Miguel Beermen import Dez Wells is confident of the Beermen's East Asia Super League Terrific 12 title chances.
San Miguel is set to face tournament favorite Liaoning Flying Leopards on Saturday in the Terrific 12 semifinals.
San Miguel hammered the Shenzhen Aviators, before dethroning the Ryukyu Golden Kings in the group stage without June Mar Fajardo (ankle sprain), Marcio Lassiter (knee) and Alex Cabagnot (flu).
The Liaoning squad reached the semis behind the leadership of NBA veterans Lance Stephenson and Tunisian slotman Salah Mejri.
Wells said he's been following Stephenson's basketball career for a long time.
"It's not a one-on-one thing. That's disrespectful to our teammates but I watched Lance growing up. He's a little older than me," said Wells. "I was watching his documentary, too and I've watched him for a long time and admired his game. So to be able to lineup against him, you have to appreciate competitors like that because he will make better."
The matchup between the 27-year-old Wells and Stephenson offers a very interesting subplot in the knockout semis.
In just two games, Wells showed his ability to score inside and outside, his athleticism as well as his defensive skills, averaging three steals a game.
And like Stephenson, Wells can attract a crowd because of his ability to soar past a defender for a dunk.
Meantime, the 29-year-old Stephenson, fresh from his stint with the LA Lakers, has put in MVP-like numbers averaging 29.75 points, 7 assists and 6.5 rebounds in the group stage play.
But he's got a solid backup in Tunisian center Salah Mejri along with a sharpshooting Chinese teammate in Cong Mingchen.
San Miguel coach Leo Austria said the coaching staff will still have to study the Flying Leopards' most recent games.
"We're not playing against him (Stephenson) only. This is not one-on-one. We will see what will happen in the next game. But as far as we're concerned, the team wants to win," said Austria.
San Miguel is using this tournament to prepare for the PBA Governors' Cup.