MACAU -- The Zhejiang Guangsha survived a late-game rally from the undermanned San Miguel Beermen en route to a 91-89 win to capture third place in the 2019 East Asia Super League Terrific 12 on Sunday at the Tap Seac Stadium.
The Chinese team proved steadier in the dying minute after going 5-of-6 from the foul line. The Lions were also ahead, 85-77, on a completed three-point play by Hu Jinqiu. But San Miguel import Dez Wells and Alex Cabagnot responded by combining to score the team's last 12 points.
Wells' three-pointer with 2.6 seconds to go narrowed the gap at 91-89.
SMB still had a chance to steal the win after Zhejiang turned the ball over during its inbound play, but Wells' halfcourt heave with 0.6 second to go did not hit the rim, allowing the Lions to escape with the win.
"A lot of our players got injured, but we're thankful because of the opportunity given to us (to play at (Terrific 12) was really great," shared San Miguel coach Leo Austria after the game. "We faced a lot of big guys. I hope in the next few years we will be included here again because it's really hard to win games against those mighty teams with a lot of size."
The 6-foot-11 Hu, a member of China's national team in the 2016 FIBA Asia Challenge, played like grizzled veteran after scattering 21 of his team-high 31 points in the second half to lead the Chinese ballclub's onslaught.
American import Jalen Reynolds was also a tower of strength in the paint after finishing with 21 points and 15 rebounds. Zhejiang's other American import Aaron Jackson had do-it-all numbers of 18 points, eight assists and five rebounds.
The Beermen played without injured stars June Mar Fajardo and Marcio Lassiter, while Christian Standhardinger did not play after complaining of knee pain before the start of the game.
Wells, San Miguel's Governors' Cup import, led the Beermen with 33 points, while Laster Prosper added 16 and 10 boards.
Cabagnot chipped in 15, while Kelly Nabong added 14 for the Beermen, who got relegated to the battle for third match after suffering a 111-89 beating at the hands of the Liaoning Flying Leopards in the knockout semis. - Richard Dy
ZHEJIANG GUANGSHA 91- J. Hu 31, Reynolds 21, Jackson 18, R. Su 8, Y. Zhao 5, M. Sun 4, C. Liu 2, Y. Qu 1.
SAN MIGUEL BEER 89- Wells 33, Prosper 16, Cabagnot 15, Nabong 14, Ganuelas-Rosser 6, Pessumal 3, Santos 2, Romeo 0. Ross 0
Quarter scores: 18-18, 37-34, 63-62, 91-89
Terrence Romeo was held scoreless, missing all four of his attempts. He also had three assists and three turnovers.
San Miguel heads back to Manila late Monday afternoon and will play its first game in the 2019 PBA Governors' Cup against Phoenix on Wednesday.