PBA: San Miguel beats Rain or Shine to boost bid for top spot
MANILA, Philippines–San Miguel reached for the knob of the PBA Governors’ Cup top seed on Friday afternoon after slipping past also-ran Rain or Shine, 129-116, at Philsports Arena in Pasig City.
Buoyed by Vic Manuel, San Miguel pulled away in the third quarter to rise to 9-2 while dooming the ElastoPainters to a 2-9 mark.
All the Beermen need now to open the door to a No. 1 seeding is for their sister team Barangay Ginebra to win over TNT by three points or more in the nightcap here.
Manuel registered a conference-best 23 points while import Cameron Clark, Marcio Lassiter, and CJ Perez added 20 each.
Mo Tautuaa chipped in 23 points and 13 rebounds off the bench. His performance—paired with Manuel’s—makes up for a commendable outing for San Miguel’s big men which comes at a time when the club is missing its cornerstone June Mar Fajardo (knee injury).
Playing another game without an import, Rain or Shine got the goods from rookie Gian Mamuyac, who finished with 23 points, 10 rebounds, and six assists.
Mark Borboran added 15 points while Norbert Torres, Nick Demusis, and Beau Belga all had 12 each for the losing stand that had the Painters finishing 10th in the season-ending tournament.
A No. 1 seeding will pit San Miguel Beer against No. 8 Phoenix. The Beermen will be needing to win only once to advance to the Final Four.
The less favorable scenario will see San Miguel sliding to No. 3. and playing a dangerous No. 6 seed in NLEX. But even that pairing will have Jorge Gallent and his talented lot as favorites, as they will also have twice-to-beat protection in that duel.