PBA: Shabazz Muhammad shows worth in San Miguel comeback win | Inquirer Sports
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PBA: Shabazz Muhammad shows worth in San Miguel comeback win

By: - Reporter / @BLozadaINQ
/ 04:12 PM March 06, 2022
San Miguel Beermen Shabazz Muhammad

San Miguel Beermen import Shabazz Muhammad couldn’t be stopped against the Meralco Bolts in the PBA Governors’ Cup. Muhammad scored 57 points in a 115-110 comeback win. PBA IMAGES

MANILA, Philippines—San Miguel knew who to turn to when it needed to climb back from a 26-point hole against Meralco in the 2021-22 PBA Governors’ Cup.

The Beermen trailed the Bolts 72-46 early in the second half before Shabazz Muhammad went berserk in the final two quarters where he unleashed 45 of his 57 points.

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“I told my teammates once my shot gets in, they’re (Meralco) gonna be in trouble because they can’t sag off. I’m really tired now but man, that was a great win,” said Muhammad, who was Meralco’s first-choice import before the conference started.

“Everybody was tentative because of Meralco’s lead and he’s out there to win games and when we found out that he can shoot from that range, plus his athleticism, and he can also penetrate with a soft shot. That was it for us,” said Beermen head coach Leo Austria. “From that moment on, it was all pick and roll and isolation plays for Shabazz.”

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San Miguel import Shabazz Muhammad

San Miguel import Shabazz Muhammad. PBA IMAGES

Muhammad scored 23 points in the third quarter alone and he continued his torrid shooting in the fourth, going 6-of-7 from the field and 6-of-8 from the line.

Tony Bishop’s free throws managed to give Meralco a three-point lead, 110-107, with 1:38 left but it was all San Miguel after that point with Muhammad putting back his own miss from the free throw line that put his team up 111-110 with 29 seconds to play.

Muhammad then, iced the game for the Beermen, hitting two free throws nine seconds later for a 113-110 cushion.

“Shabazz is somebody who can match up with a big man because of his size but his quickness gives him the advantage,” said Austria of his 6-foot-6 reinforcement, who also grabbed 19 rebounds. 

“We struggled in the final two minutes because they (Meralco) used a box-and-one setup but we were able to recover.”

Muhammad’s efforts pushed San Miguel to a 7-4 record at the end of its elimination round campaign.

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PBA: Shabazz Muhammad’s 57 points carry San Miguel past Meralco

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