Lance Stephenson was unstoppable against San Miguel as his Liaoning Flying Leopards advanced to the East Asia Super League Terrific 12 2019 following a 111-89 win over the Beermen in the semi-finals on Saturday.
Stephenson fired 23 1st half points capped by a buzzer-beating 3, as the Leopards pulled away in the 2nd quarter for a commanding 51-30 lead entering the break.
The former Los Angeles Laker set the tone early, scoring 14 in the opening frame.
After Von Pessumal hit 8 straight which included 2 triples to give San Miguel a 28-26 edge, Liaoning waxed hot from 3 point range and closed the half on a 25-2 run.
The Chinese Basketball Association club stretched their lead to as high as 31 points in the 3rd quarter, before Terrence Romeo, Dez Wells, and Lester Prosper buckled down to work to make it more respectable in the end.
Stephenson finished with 35 points, 10 rebounds, and 3 steals and shot 14/27 from the field. Salah Mejri added 21 markers on 52% shooting and 4 blocks.
Liaoning was a hot 15/34 from 3-point land. Tianju He and Zhinxuan Liu combined for 6 triples.
The Beermen were led by Romeo who had 19 points, 5 boards, and 6 dimes. Wells and Prosper chipped in 16 and 15, respectively.
San Miguel were out-rebounded, 34-45 and gave up 20 2nd chance points.
The defending PBA Philippine and Commissioner’s Cup champions will face another Chinese club in the Zhejiang Guangsha Lions for the 3rd place trophy.
The Lions lost a thrilling affair to Korean side SK Knights, 77-76 in their own semis duel.
(Photo from East Asia Super League Facebook)