SMB MAULS MAGNOLIA IN FINALS REMATCH; ROS SNAPS PHOENIX’S HOT RUN
MANILA — Many fans anticipated a close showdown as the Magnolia Hotshots faced off with the San Miguel Beermen for the first time in the Philippine Basketball Association (PBA) Philippine Cup since their finals showdown last conference.
A blowout ensued instead.
San Miguel Beer blew past Magnolia, 113-92, at the Smart Araneta Coliseum in Quezon City Sunday night.
The Beermen erupted early on as they started the game with 10 unanswered points within the first three minutes.
Kyle Pascual finally put the Hotshots on the board with a layup, but the Beermen put up another 8-0 blast to stretch their lead to 16, 18-2, with a little over five minutes left in the first.
SMB eventually held a 28-12 advantage at the end of the first period.
The defending champion even stretched its lead to 23 points, 37-14, come the second quarter, but the reigning Governors’ Cup holder sizzled later in the period and was suddenly within seven, 42-49, with 25 seconds left before halftime.
June Mar Fajardo stopped the bleeding with a jump hook in the final play of the half as the Beermen went to halftime up by nine.
They eventually kept the Hotshots at bay in the second half and even stretched their lead to as high as 24 before settling for the 21-point win.
Arwind Santos buried 29 points on 11-of-17 shooting with four rebounds, two assists, and one block for SMB, which moved up to solo fourth place at 4-3.
Terrence Romeo had his best game as a Beerman, putting up 23 points on 8-of-10 shooting with one rebound, three assists, and two steals.
Fajardo added 22 points, eight boards, three dimes, and one block.
Overall, SMB shot 51.9 percent from the field, including an impressive 18-of-34 clip from beyond the arc.
“Wala akong masabi sa mga players ko. (I have nothing to complain about my players.) They were so focused and maybe they know the importance of this game because Magnolia is really a tough team,” head coach Leo Austria said.
Ian Sangalang scored 19 markers, five boards, one dime, two blocks, and four steals for the Chito Victolero-mentored Magnolia squad, which fell to 0-2.
In the first game, the Rain Or Shine Elasto Painters put an end to the Phoenix Fuel Masters’ unbeaten run with a 98-94 overtime win.
ROS squandered a chance to blast Phoenix in regulation but made up for it in the OT session to take the top spot in the team standings.
The E-Painters thought they were on the verge of handing the Fuel Masters their first loss after going on a 14-0 run late in the third quarter to open a 70-56 lead, but the latter went on a 9-0 run spilling to the fourth quarter to come to within five, 65-70.
ROS retained control of the game by holding Phoenix at bay midway through the fourth, but a 6-0 run by the latter trimmed the gap to just one, 79-78, with 3:41 left in regulation.
After an exchange of crucial baskets, which ended in a Matt Wright triple with 47 seconds remaining, the Fuel Masters got a chance to tie the game as Calvin Abueva blocked Gabe Norwood’s jumper and got the rebound in the process.
That led to a Jason Perkins floater with only 12 seconds remaining in regulation for an 87-all tie.
The E-Painters had a chance to win it in regulation, but James Yap, who was struggling all game long, missed a long triple off the isolation just before the final buzzer.
The game remained tight for the first half of the extra period, but ROS had a chance to get some breathing room as after a Rey Nambatac layup to give the team a 94-92 lead, Doug Kramer lost the ball while getting the offensive rebound in the next Phoenix play.
Raymond Almazan made two free throws in the ensuing possession to give the E-Painters a 96-92 lead with 42 seconds left.
Alex Mallari kept the Fuel Masters in the game with a quick layup with 37 seconds left, but a huge teardrop from Mark Borboran as shotclock expired sealed the win for the E-Painters.
Beau Belga and Kris Rosales each chipped in 16 points for ROS, which is now number one in the table at 6-1.
Rosales actually posted a career-high in points, while Belga came close to a triple-double with nine rebounds and seven assists.
Perkins’ 27-point explosion went down the drain as Phoenix drops to second place at 5-1. (PNA)