MANILA — The San Miguel Beermen and Barangay Ginebra bolstered their chance of making the Philippine Basketball Association (PBA) Philippine Cup quarterfinals after pipping their respective foes at the Smart Araneta Coliseum in Quezon City on Sunday night.
The Beermen downed the NorthPort Batang Pier, 113-107, while the Barangay repulsed the conference-leading Phoenix Fuel Masters, 100-97.
Behind a huge third quarter explosion, SMB turned things around after NorthPort controlled most of the first half before holding the latter off down the stretch.
Junemar Fajardo put up 40 points, 19 rebounds, three assists, and one steal as the Beermen moved back to solo third place at 6-3, bringing them to within a half-game of the Rain Or Shine Elasto Painters for second place.
Terrence Romeo added 23 points, six rebounds, three assists, and one steal.
Mo Tautuaa made 28 points on 12-of-14 shooting with 13 rebounds, one assist, and two steals for NorthPort, which fell to 2-4.
Meanwhile, Japeth Aguilar’s huge block helped save the day for Ginebra as the team’s own bid for a quarterfinal spot got a huge boost with a victory over Phoenix.
With his team just up one, Aguilar swatted away Calvin Abueva’s layup attempt that could have put Phoenix back in the lead, and Aljon Mariano added more pressure by making two free throws off Abueva’s foul with four seconds remaining.
The Fuel Masters had one final scare as Matt Wright got a good line for his buzzer-beating triple, but his shot rolled out of the rim.
LA Tenorio put up 23 points, eight rebounds, five assists, and three steals for the Barangay, who are now in fifth place at 4-3.
Aljon Mariano chipped in 20 points, nine rebounds, and two assists in a start.
Abueva put up 15 points, 11 rebounds, three assists, one steal, and one block for the Fuel Masters, who missed out on a chance to lock in a Top 2 finish, which means a once-to-win advantage in the quarterfinals.
San Miguel 113 – Fajardo 40, Romeo 23, Lassiter 15, Santos 11, Nabong 11, Ross 9, Rosser 4, Cabagnot 0, Pessumal 0.
NorthPort 107 – Tautuaa 28, Anthony 16, Bolick 12, Grey 12, Taha 11, Elorde 11, Pringle 10, Lanete 5, Guinto 2, Gabayni 0, Sollano 0.
Quarters: 21-25, 50-54, 84-77, 113-107.
Ginebra 100 – Tenorio 23, Mariano 20, Slaughter 18, Chan 13, Aguilar 11, Thompson 5, Cruz 4, Dela Cruz 4, Mercado 2, Caperal 0, Ferrer 0.
Phoenix 97 – Abueva 15, Kramer 14, Jazul 13, Chua 13, Wright 10, Marcelo 10, Perkins 9, Mallari 9, Revilla 2, Mendoza 2.
Quarters: 18-24, 40-46, 72-76, 100-97. (PNA)