Rest assured for SMB
San Miguel Beer can now have the break it didn’t really enjoy during the holiday season.
That is the reward the Beermen earned last night after securing a top two berth in the first round of the PBA Philippine Cup playoffs following a come-from-behind 107-101 overtime win over Rain or Shine at Mall of Asia Arena in Pasay.
“We have to give the players time to rest; we’ve had three games in the past week,” said coach Leo Austria. “We didn’t have a good break in the holidays because we played on [Dec.] 17 and 28. We have to reward them with a nice rest.”
The Beermen played their tails off and rallied from 90-96 down with 2:38 remaining in the fourth, with Alex Cabagnot forging extension with a long jumper with 1.8 seconds remaining as San Miguel went on to win a seventh straight game and rose to 8-1 overall.
It was a bitter loss for the Elasto Painters, who went scoreless from 2:38 left in the fourth until the final 1:54 of overtime to slide to a two-way tie for second with GlobalPort, whose top two chances were enhanced after a 110-96 ripping of NLEX in the curtain raiser.
San Miguel has two games left, but Austria had said even before last night that he would be trying to keep his stars fresh for the playoffs should they win against the Painters.
GlobalPort coach Franz Pumaren said that San Miguel will be more dangerous now that they’re in top two already.
“It’s tough to play teams that play without pressure,” Pumaren said after getting 32 points from Terrence Romeo, who helped the Batang Pier break away from the Road Warriors early to lead by as large as 21 points in the third.
But Pumaren didn’t sound that pleased even after the dominating victory.
“We were in control tonight, but when we make lapses, things become difficult for us,” Pumaren said of several defensive breakdowns that allowed the Road Warriors to come to within eight.
“Our next game will be against San Miguel Beer, and we cannot make those kinds of lapses,” he stressed of the match that takes place next Saturday in Lapu-Lapu City.
While GlobalPort enhanced its position in the playoffs, the Road Warriors, who are in their first full conference under new coach Yeng Guiao, slid to the cellar at 2-6.
GLOBALPORT 110 – NLEX 96
GLOBALPORT 110—Romeo 32, Pringle 20, Quiñahan 18, Paredes 13, Pessumal 10, Canaleta 6, Cortez 4, Aban 4, Urbiztondo 3, Saitanan 0, Maierhofer 0, Mamaril 0.
NLEX 96—Lastimosa 19, Alas 16, Anthony 16, Guinto 13, Camson 9, Lanete 9, Soyud 5, E. Villanueva 4, Baracael 2, Monfort 2, Rios 1, J. Villanueva 0, Taulava 0, Gotladera 0, Khobuntin 0.
Quarters: 21-16, 50-38, 82-65, 110-96
SAN MIGUEL 107 – RAIN OR SHINE 101
SAN MIGUEL 107—Fajardo 25, Santos 17, Garcia 17, Lassiter 14, Cabagnot 14, De Ocampo 12, Ross 4, Espinas 4, Tubid 0.
RAIN OR SHINE 101—Belga 14, Tiu 13, Chan 11, Ponferada 9, Cruz 9, Ahanmisi 9, Maiquez 8, Washington 8, Norwood 6, Tolomia 4, Trollano 4, Yap 3, Matias 3.
Quarters: 32-28, 56-49, 71-75, 96-96 (reg.), 107-101 (OT)
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