The San Miguel Beermen failed to advance to the championship game, and will look to settle for third place at the East Asia Super League Terrific 12 tournament in Macau.
After finishing 2-0 in the group phase against the Shenzhen Aviators and the Ryukyu Golden Kings, the reigning Philippine Basketball Association (PBA) champions fell in a 111-89 landslide defeat against a determined Flying Leopards team.
It was pegged to be a pretty evenly matched game, and San Miguel was able to hang with Liaoning for the most part, but had a horrible second quarter where they were held to a measly seven-point output by the Chinese Basketball Association (CBA) club.
The Beermen had little answer to former NBA veteran Lance Stephenson, who led the rout to the tune of 35 points and 10 rebounds, while shooting an efficient 51 percent from the field.
Terrence Romeo led San Miguel with 19 points and six assists, but the usually prolific Dezmine Well was held to just 16, one game removed from torching last year’s tournament winners Ryukyu Golden Kings of Japan for 42 points.
It is worth noting that both teams were without key pieces, as San Miguel was without June Mar Fajardo and Marcio Lassiter, and Liaoning was also missing two of their stars, as guards Guo Ailun and Zhao Jiwei did not join the team in Macau and are taking time off after their recent stint with the Chinese National Team at the FIBA Basketball World Cup.
The Beermen will battle against another Chinese club, the Zhejiang Guangsha Lions, who similarly went undefeated at the group stage before faltering in a heartbreaker against the Seoul SK Knights in the semifinals yesterday.
Behind local forwards Hu Jinqiu and Liu Cheng Zhejiang, the Lions were one basket away from making it into the final, but missed two opportunities at the end to surrender a 77-76 decision to the South Korean squad.
San Miguel meets Zhejiang today at 1700H (GMT+8), prior to the championship game between the Flying Leopards and the SK Knights, both at the Tap Seac Multi-sports Pavilion in Macau, China SAR.
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