The top-seeded San Miguel Beermen finished their maiden elimination round campaign in the ASEAN Basketball League with an 83-68 victory over the Saigon Heat Wednesday night in Ho Chi Minh City to enter the playoffs on a winning note.
Nick Fazekas scored 24 points and 12 rebounds, Leo Avenido had 15 and Duke Crews added 12 for the Beermen, who ended their elims with a 17-4 win-loss slate and the top spot in the ABL standings.
With the win, San Miguel also avenged its 66-63 defeat against Saigon at the Ynares Sports Arena in Pasig last March 24, the last time the Beermen suffered a setback this season.
Before a sellout crowd at the Tan Binh Stadium, the Heat looked poised for a repeat victory after a 41-41 tie at the half. But the Beermen prevented any chance of another upset loss when they outscored their opponent, 23-10, in the third period including an 8-0 run in the final three minutes of the quarter to pull away from the Heat.
San Miguel assured itself of homecourt advantage throughout the playoffs but will have to wait for its opponent in the semifinals.
The third and fourth positions have yet to be determined after the Westports Malaysia Dragons were beaten by the Singapore Slingers, 105-88.
The Dragons dropped to fourth with an 11-10 win-loss record and will hope for a Slingers victory over the Indonesia Warriors (11-9) this Sunday that will allow them to take back the third spot by virtue of having a better head-to-head record against Indonesia and set a date against the second-seeded AirAsia Philippine Patriots in the semifinals.