San Miguel Beer was simply too much for Phoenix as the Beermen coasted to a 115-96 win in their quarterfinals match to advance to the semifinals of the Philippine Basketball Association (PBA) Season 42 Commissioner’s Cup on Tuesday at the Araneta Coliseum.
The Beermen, armed with a twice-to-beat advantage for finishing No. 2 in the elims, did not allow the Fuel Masters to ignite any resistance by controlling the game en route to clinching their spot in the best-of-five semis.
“We’re happy with this win because we’re able to meet the expectation of the people especially the management, and they are even expecting us to be in the finals,” said San Miguel Beer coach Leo Austria, whose wards reached the semis for the sixth straight time.
“I have to commend the players because they know what is at stake in this game. They really wanted to get into the semifinals right away because they don’t want to play for another game,” he added.
Marcio Lassiter registered 26 points, including five treys, while Alex Cabagnot posted 20 points, eight rebounds and six assists to lead the Beermen, who will face the survivor in the Star-Rain or Shine quarterfinals series.
From a 28-21 lead at the end of first period, the Beermen stretched the lead to 51-23 on Ronald Tubid’s triple with 4:35 left before halftime.
Phoenix sliced the lead to 63-78 late in the third but San Miguel pulled away and Lassiter’s layup gave them a 106-83 advantage with 3:23 remaining.
San Miguel import Charles Rhodes finished with 14 points, 11 rebounds and four blocks, veteran Ronald Tubid added 14 points and Chris Ross had an all-around game of 11 points, 10 assists, seven rebounds and three steals also for the Beermen.
Phoenix import Jameel McKay posted 20 points and 13 rebounds.
Meanwhile, the Hotshots try to sweep the Elasto Painters as they aim for the clincher in Game 2 at 4:15 on Wednesday also at the Big Dome.
TNT KaTropa also seeks a sweep against Meralco in their own best-of-three quarterfinals series in the 7 p.m. main game.