Defending champion San Miguel Beer relied on the return of import Elijah Milsap to repulse Blackwater, 107-101, on Sunday in the last day of the elimination round of Philippine Basketball Association Season 41 Governors’ Cup at the Alonte Sports Arena in Biñan Laguna.
Milsap, who played for San Miguel Beer in 2013, scattered 25 points on 7-of-15 shooting in the field along with 14 rebounds and four assists while forward Arwind Santos tallied 19 points on 8-of-14 shooting plus seven rebounds to hand the Beermen an 8-3 win-loss record.
“Unusual rotation of my men,” said San Miguel Beer coach Leo Austria to reporters during the post game interview. I want to give some time to my players on the bench. I told them let’s play with pride Every time we are inside and let’s give some effort.”
Center June Mar Fajardo, the league’s two-time Most Valuable Player, registered 18 points on 7-of-9 shooting in the field plus eight rebounds and two blocks, while playmaker Alex Cabagnot and Ronald Tubid had 17 and 15 points, respectively, also for the Beermen.
The Elite started the game on a high note slicing the Beermen’s lead to just 44-50 at halftime and they even forced a deadlock at 67-all after Kyle Pascual’s two free throws. But Tubid scored two successive three-pointers to put the Beermen ahead 78-75 heading to the final frame.
Milsap took charge in the fourth period, hitting seven straight points and extending San Miguel Beer’s lead to 88-77.
The Elite couldn’t recover from there on.
Former San Beda Red Lions Art Dela Cruz led Blackwater with 23 points and 11 rebounds while import Keala King had 18 points and six rebounds.
The Elite finished the conference with a disastrous 1-9 win-loss record.
San Miguel 107 – Millsap 25, Santos 19, Fajardo 18, Cabagnot 17, Tubid 15, Lassiter 3, De Ocampo 2, Espinas 2, Reyes 2, Ross 2, Semerad 2, Abdeen 0, Arana 0, Heruela 0.
Blackwater 101 – Dela Cruz 23, King 18, Pinto 13, Miranda 12, Lastimosa 11, Pascual 10, Sumang 8, Gamalinda 2, Sena 2, Tiongson 2, Eguilos 0, Reyes 0.
Quarters: 32-20, 50-44, 78-75, 107-101