BALL GAMES

Philippines vs Japan: San Miguel Beermen dethrones Ryukyu Golden Kings at EASL’s ‘Terrific 12’ in Macau

Takumi Ishizaki, Terrence Romeo

Takumi Ishizaki, Terrence Romeo

San Miguel Beermen dethroned defending champion Ryukyu Golden Kings of Japan, 101-92, on the evening of September 19, 2019 in the East Asia Super League tournament “Terrific 12” at the Tap Seac-Multi-Sport Pavilion in Macau, China. This gave the Philippine Basketball Association team the semis spot in Group B.

Denz Wells exploded for 42 points while Terrence Romeo and Lester Prosper added 18 and 15 markers, respectively, for San Miguel Beermen. They are now set to meet Group D semifinalist Liaoning Flying Leopards on September 21, 2019.

“From the start, we knew this would be a difficult game for us,” San Miguel Beermen head coach Leo Austria. “After the loss of the defending champions, they will come out fighting hard. They’re the defending champions and we know they have a good game plan against us but we’re ready for any eventuality.”

Leading 14-2 early, the Ryukyu Golden Kings had a fine start. But Wells and Romeo joined forces to close the period with a 29-10 run to control the tempo of the game, 31-24.

But the B.League team, behind import De’Mon Brooks, stayed within striking distance as his two free throws cut the San Miguel Beermen’s lead to 70-74 with 9:51 left in the game. Wells again anchored another San Miguel Beermen surge and his one-hand slam gave them a 90-77 lead with 5:03 remaining in the game.

The Ryukyu Golden Kings sliced the lead to single digit on Hayato Kantake’s triple, 86-94. But Wells hit a jumper in the next play to start a crucial 7-3 exchange to put the game out of reach, 101-89, 68 seconds left in the game.

Brooks led the Ryukyu Golden Kings with 34 points and 11 rebounds. Ryuichi Kishimoto chipped in 12 markers.

In Group A, SK Knights grabbed the semis spot after beating the Chiba Jets, 86-76. KJ McDaniels exploded for 47 points to lift TNT KaTropa to a 99-90 win over Niigata Albirex of Japan as TNT KaTropa ended their campaign here on a high note.

McDaniels also hauled down 17 rebounds and got solid support from Roger Pogoy and Almond Vosotros. TNT KaTropa finished their Group D campaign with a 1-1 record.

Both teams were already eliminated after losing their matches to Group D semifinalist Liaoning Flying Leopards but still gave out their best to end their respective campaign on a positive note. Nick Perkins led Niigata with 34 points and 12 rebounds while Shinsuke Kashiwagi and Yuichi Ikeda contributed 17 and 16 markers, respectively.

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