San Miguel unleashed a gem of an import in Chris McCullough as the former NBA player dropped 47 points to power the struggling powerhouse team past the NLEX Road Warriors, 109-105, Friday night at the Smart Araneta Colseum.
The 6-foot-9, first round NBA draftee who came is as a replacement for Charles Rhodes wasted no time in proving that he is a worthy substitute for the former Best Import awardee by displaying a steady outside game which would be good complement to starting center June Mar Fajardo. McCullough drained 6 triples out of 12 attempts and had on overall shooting percentage of 56% (17/30). He also had 10 rebounds and a game-high 7 turnovers.
Trailing by a point, 57-56, after a three-pointer by Road Warriors import Olu Ashaolu in the 10-minute mark of the 3rd, the Beermen went on a telling 32-6 run to establish control of the game with a 25-point advantage, 88-63.
Down by 28 to start the final frame, NLEX made its own run but the margin proved too much to overcome as the Yeng Guiao-mentored squad fell to their 8th loss in 10 outings.
“I have to give credit to the import. He is out there to win. I think this win could give us some confidence and lift the morale of the team. We have a chance to get into the next round,” said SMB coach Leo Austria.
Christian Standhardinger finished with 12 points while Marcio Lassiter and Alex Cabagnot added 11 markers apiece.
Ashaolu paced the Road Warriors with 31 points and 15 boards while Juami Tiongson and Jerico Cruz added 14 and 11 points, respectively.
San Miguel 109 – McCullough 47, Standhardinger 12, Lassiter 11, Cabagnot 11, Fajardo 8, Pessumal 8, Romeo 6, Santos 3, Rosser 2, Ross 1.
NLEX 105 – Ashaolu 31, Tiongson 14, Cruz 11, Erram 10, Paniamogan 8, Soyud 7, Quinahan 7, Galanza 5, Rios 4, Varilla 3, Ighalo 3, Lao 2, Taulava 0.
Quarterscores: 25-24, 52-51, 97-69, 109-105.