MACAU – San Miguel Beer finished in fourth place in the East Asia League Terrific 12, after a close 91-89 defeat to the Zhejiang Guangsha Lions in the battle for third place at the Tap Seac Multisport Pavilion on Sunday.
The depleted Beermen played catch-up for most of the game, but gave the Lions a big scare until the end as import Dezmine Wells' desperate three-point attempt from the backcourt just fell short at the buzzer.
The victory earned for the Chinese Basketball Association (CBA) ballclub the bronze medal and the $50,000 prize money that goes with it.
Wells, who will serve as San Miguel's import in the PBA Governors' Cup, had 33 points, 5 rebounds, and 4 assists. But the Beermen missed the services of big man Christian Standhardinger, who sat out the game with a hurt knee.
Standhardinger was in uniform but didn't suit up, and instead joined injured teammates June Mar Fajardo and Marcio Lassiter at the San Miguel bench.
The Beermen fell in the battle for third place after absorbing a 111-89 beating at the hands of Lance Stephenson and the Liaoning Flying Leopards during the knockout semifinals on Saturday.
"It's really hard to win games against those mighty teams with a lot of size," said SMB coach Leo Austria. "Maybe if Christian played with us (tonight), I think we might have finished third place."
Still, their semifinal stint was the highest finish among the three PBA teams that competed in the week-long meet, along with TNT KaTropa and Blackwater.
Lester Prosper, the other San Miguel import, contributed with a double-double of 16 points and 11 rebounds. Alex Cabagnot had 15, while Kelly Nabong shot 4-of-6 from beyond the arc and finished with 14 points.
Wells and Cabagnot willed the Beermen back from an 86-77 deficit late in the game. Wells' three-pointer with 2.6 seconds left had San Miguel threatening for the last time at 91-89.
Chinese national team player Jinqiu Hu led the Lions with 31 points, while import Jalen Reynolds had a double-double of 22 points and 15 rebounds.
Zhejiang Guangsha (91) - Hu 31, Reynolds 22, Jackson 18, Su 8, Zhu 5, Sun 4, Liu 2, Wu 1.
San Miguel (89) - Wells 33, Prosper 16, Cabagnot 15, Nabong 14, Ganuelas-Rosser 6, Pessumal 3, Santos 2, Ross 0, Romeo 0.
Quarter scores: 18-18; 37-24; 63-62; 91-89.
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