Beer­men out to break 3-game los­ing streak

Business World - - World Sports - By Michael An­gelo S. Murillo Se­nior Re­porter

THE slump­ing San Miguel Beer­men are out to break from a three-game los­ing streak in the Philip­pine Bas­ket­ball As­so­ci­a­tion Gov­er­nors’ Cup when they face off with in-form Phoenix Fuel Masters in league action to­day at the Mall of Asia Arena.

Set for 7 p.m., the Beer­men (2-4) try to re­gain their win­ning touch in the sea­son-end­ing PBA tour­na­ment to bet­ter po­si­tion them­selves in the play­offs.

Cur­rently at eighth place and tinker­ing with out­right elim­i­na­tion mid­way into the Gov­er­nors’ Cup, San Miguel has had it rough to date that has seen it change re­in­force­ment while grap­pling with the ab­sence of superstar big man June Mar Fajardo.

Kevin Mur­phy, who re­placed orig­i­nal im­port Ari­zona Reid (in­jured), has been solid in two games to date for the Beer­men, av­er­ag­ing 41 points, 10.5 re­bounds and 5.5 as­sists, but it has not trans­lated to a turnaround yet for the team.

Su­per rookie Chris­tian Stand­hardinger, too, has been de­liv­er­ing with num­bers of 26.2 points and 10.8 re­bounds while Marcio Las­siter, Ar­wind San­tos, Alex Cabag­not and Chris Ross have been steady as well.

Un­for­tu­nately for the team though, they have yet to pick their col­lec­tive groove to put up a sus­tained fight.

De­spite their cur­rent predica­ment, San Miguel coach Leo Aus­tria re­mains con­fi­dent that they can still turn their cam­paign around and per­form well mov­ing for­ward.

“We just have to stay con­fi­dent and not doubt our­selves. We still have a chance,” said Mr. Aus­tria of their sit­u­a­tion at the mo­ment.

Mean­while, look­ing to add to the mis­ery of the Beer­men is Phoenix (6-2), which is off a steam-rolling of the NLEX Road War­riors, 123-97, on Oct. 10.

The Fuel Masters used a mas­sive first half that had them scor­ing 71 points to dom­i­nate the Road War­riors and move to joint fourth place in the tour­na­ment.

Im­port Eu­gene Phelps had a huge dou­ble-dou­ble of 51 points and 20 re­bounds to go along with three blocks to lead Phoenix.

Calvin Abueva had 17 points while Matthew Wright had 10 points and seven as­sists.

The win was a bounce-back for the Fuel Masters who lost to the Barangay Gine­bra San Miguel Kings, 101-99, in their pre­vi­ous game.

“We’re back and I like where we are at right now,” said Phoenix coach Louie Alas af­ter their lat­est win.

Set to play in the 4:30 p.m. opener, mean­while, are the strug­gling Mer­alco Bolts (1-5) and North­port Batang Pier (1-6).

ALVIN S. GO

THE SLUMP­ING SAN MIGUEL BEER­MEN face off with the in-form Phoenix Fuel Masters in PBA Gov­er­nors’ Cup action to­day.

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