Reigning champion San Miguel Beer cruised past GlobalPort, 106-100, to post its ninth victory in the Philippine Basketball Association Season 42 Philippine Cup on Saturday at the Hoops Dome in Lapu-Lapu City, Cebu.
Forward Arwind Santos notched 31 points on 10-of-17 shooting from the field on top of 10 rebounds while three-time Most Valuable Player June Mar Fajardo tallied 19 points on 6-of-9 shooting from the field plus 15 rebounds and two blocks to lead the Beermen.
San Miguel Beer remains No.1 with an improved win-loss record of 9-1. With the win, the Beermen are now already assured of a twice-to-beat advantage in the semifinals.
Marcio Lassiter scored 22 points, six rebounds and three assists, while Brian Heruela had 10 points in 17 minutes of play. Ryan Roose Garcia and Ronald Tubid contributed eight points apiece also for San Miguel Beer.
The Beermen started ahead with a 15-6 lead after Tubid’s two free throws with 4:02 to go in the opening period.
The Batang Pier countered with a 15-7 run behind Stanley Pringle’s back-to-back treys trimming the deficit to just 21-22 at the end of first canto.
It was a close fight in the second quarter with the Beermen holding a slim lead. Santos and guard Brian Heruela led San Miguel Beer with 14 and 10 points, respectively, in the first two quarters.
San Miguel Beer remained ahead, 51-49, after two periods. Terrence Romeo emerged as the weak link in GlobalPort’s offense with a dismal 0-5 attempts from the field and a mere four points at the half.
Pringle and Canaleta scored 12 and 11 points, respectively for the Batang Pier at halftime.
Romeo regained his rhythm late in the game posting seven points including a crucial trey. Jay-R Quinahan also delivered sinking two free throws in the dying seconds of the third quarter to forge an 81-all deadlock entering the payoff period.
But Fajardo and Santos combined forces in the last two minutes resulting in SMB outscoring GlobalPort, 25-19, to seal the win.
Pringle led the Batang Pier with 21 points while Romeo finished with 16 points.
GlobalPort’s win-loss record dropped to 5-4.
Meanwhile, Barangay Ginebra and Phoenix Petroleum are both aiming for a sixth win when they clash in the 6:45 p.m. second game today at the Philsports Arena in Pasig City. Alaska will face Mahindra in the first game at 4:30 p.m.
SAN MIGUEL 106 – Santos 31, Lassiter 22, Fajardo 19, Heruela 10, Garcia 8, Tubid 8, Espinas 5, Ross 2, De Ocampo 1, McCarthy 0.
GLOBALPORT 100 – Pringle 21, Romeo 16, Canaleta 14, Cortez 11, Aban 10, Quinahan 9, Pessumal 8, Mamaril 6, Urbiztondo 3, Andrada 2, Maierhofer 0.
Quarter Scores: 22-21, 51-50, 81-81, 106-100