Beermen rip Hotshots | Inquirer Sports

Beermen rip Hotshots

By: - Reporter / @MusongINQ
/ 05:38 AM March 28, 2016

RONALD Pascual of Star draws a charging foul from Jay-R Reyes of SanMiguel. AUGUST DELA CRUZ

RONALD Pascual of Star draws a charging foul from Jay-R Reyes of San Miguel. AUGUST DELA CRUZ

PLAYING minus MVPs June Mar Fajardo and Arwind Santos, the San Miguel Beermen still showed the Oppo PBA Commissioner’s Cup field last night that they are well capable of getting the job done—and with ease at that.

Sharp offensively and unforgiving on the other end, the Beermen took the Star Hotshots apart with clinical precision, hammering out a 117-98 victory at Smart Araneta Coliseum that gave San Miguel the inside track in what is shaping up to be a three-cornered race for a top two spot in the playoffs.


Tyler Wilkerson and Marcio Lassiter ran rings around the Star defense in the second half, burying the Hotshots with a flurry of three-pointers that had the Beermen finishing off the enemy even without two of the finest players in the land.


Fajardo continued to sit it out because of a bruised knee, while Santos was given an extra pass after his mother died March 21.
Coach Leo Austria’s problem right now, though he said it in jest, seems valid.

“I hope that their return doesn’t disrupt the team,” Austria said after the Beermen rose to 5-2 with a second straight victory, just half-a-game behind Meralco (6-2).

The way the Beermen manhandled the Hotshots was so unexpected as, coupled with San Miguel’s manpower shortage, Star came into the game as the hottest team in the tournament with a three-game winning streak.

But after a lukewarm offensive effort in the second period, the Hotshots were never in it, eventually dropping to 4-5 overall to stay in the bottom half.

“This game is dedicated to Arwind’s mom (Araceli),” Austria went on. “The players wanted to show that we can win without Santos and Fajardo.”

Ricardo Ratliffe fired 33 points and had 21 rebounds but lost reliable help late in the third quarter when James Yap limped out with a leg injury and never returned.


Two of Lassiter’s six triples came when the Beermen opened up a couple of 20-point leads in the third period.

He and Wilkerson had one each halfway through the fourth just when the Hotshots came up with their last-gasp stand, with Wilkerson’s trey opening up a 102-83 lead going into the final 3:18.
But if the playoffs were to start today, San Miguel will gain No. 2 ranking behind the Bolts, having beaten Alaska ugly last Wednesday, 116-96. In case all three end up tied after the eliminations, the Beermen will win top ranking after also having defeated Meralco.

Meanwhile, NLEX, with Al Thornton responding with a great effort on both ends, boosted its playoff chances after taking down Blackwater, 88-75, in the first game.

The scores:
First Game

NLEX 88—Taulava 22, Thornton 22, Anthony 15, Alas 10, J Villanueva 7, E Villanueva 4, Khobuntin 3, Lanete 3, Enciso 2. Borboran 0.
BLACKWATER 75—Dela Cruz 16, Rhett 14, Cervantes 11, Gamalinda 8, Cortez 7, Pascual 7, Lastimosa 6, Erram 4, Sena 2, Bulawan 0, Golla 0, Reyes 0, Tiongson 0.
Quarters: 18-12, 42-32, 66-60, 88-75

 Second Game

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SAN MIGUEL 117—Wilkerson 44, Lassiter 25, Cabagnot 13, Ross 11, Arana 8, Semerad 6, Reyes 4, De Ocampo 2, Heruela 2, Mabulac 2, Espinas 0, Lutz 0.
STAR 98—Ratliffe 33, Yap 17, Maliksi 15, Simon 14, Barroca 8, Reavis 6, Pingris 3, Melton 2, Mallari 0, Pascual J. 0, Sangalang 0.
Quarters: 32-30, 54-45, 85-71, 117-98

TAGS: Basketball, Beermen, First Game, Hotshots, PBA, San Miguel, Sports

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