Saturday March 2nd 2013, Tip off 4:00PM local time,Ynares Sports Arena, Pasig, Philippines
You can always expect an
exciting game when the San Miguel Beermen and the Westports Malaysia Dragons
meet and the rematch at
the Ynares Sports Arena, Philippines on Saturday afternoon looks to be no
In their first
meeting two weeks ago, the Dragons grabbed an 82-76 win over
the Beermen at MABA Stadium, Malaysia behind Sammy Monroe's 32 points and 19
points from Justin Melton.
Gabe Freeman had 22 points and Chris Banchero added 20 points for the Beermen but it won't be easy for the Beermen to avenge their loss against the Dragons as their leading scorer Freeman will be serving his one game suspension for unsportsmanlike conduct in this game. The Beermen will also be without veteran big man Eric Menk after he suffered a fractured nose in their game last weekend and will have to sit out for a month.
The Beermen are
coming off a 66-55 win over the JobStreet.com Singapore Slingers on the road.
Chris Banchero continued his stellar play as he led the Beermen
with 16 points, 5 assists and 4 steals. Over his last 3 games, Banchero has averaged 20.7 points and 4.7 assists with a 57% shot percentage from behind the arc. Taulava also put in a solid
posted a double-double with 10 points and 13 rebounds.
and Menk unavailable on Saturday, the Beermen will expect a big contribution
from Matt Rogers, who has
stepped in for the injured Brian Williams. Rogers had a decent debut last Sunday and scored 8 points and blocked 5 shots.
Dragons Coach Ariel Vanguardia knows that the recent form means nothing until they prove themselves against the top teams away from home. “We’re still 4 and 4, it’s nothing to be excited about. Our big game is still to come against San Miguel away from home.”
has been putting on a show for the Dragons fans. Monroe led the Dragons with 32
points, 8 rebounds, 4 steals and 2 blocks in their 83-66 win at MABA. "I
just want to win. As long as I'm on this team, I want to win," said Monroe
after the game. In his first two games with the Dragons, Monroe has made 10
three-point shots while shooting 52% from behind the arc.
Looking ahead to
Saturday’s game, Monroe said, “It’s going to be a little tougher this time,
going to Manila, but we have no fear. We’re
going to come
out and play hard and be aggressive. I’m going to push my team mates as hard as
I can in practice. I’m going to talk to them and I’m going to try and be a
leader on the floor.”
Moala Tautuaa is
another key piece for
the Dragons team. Tautuaa posted a double-double in the win with 10 points and
12 rebounds. Tautaa provided the Dragons with energy on both ends and he always
plays his heart out
getting the rebounds and loose balls.
Dragons' new recruit Justin Melton hopes to duplicate his 19-point performance against the Beermen. Melton will likely matchup with Banchero which will be a very exciting battle as both players are known for their speed.