February 26, 2024

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Dominant 2nd quarter propels San Miguel’s Game 1 triumph vs Magnolia

3 min read
SMB LEADS 1-0. The San Miguel Beermen take Game 1 by beating the Magnolia Hotshots, 103-95, at the start of their PBA Commissioner’s Cup finals best-of-seven championship series held at the MOA Arena in Pasay on Friday night, February 2. PBA PHOTO

In a clash that lived up to the billing of the “Death 15,” the San Miguel Beermen orchestrated a spectacular second-quarter onslaught to secure a commanding 103-95 victory over the Magnolia Hotshots in Game 1 of the PBA Commissioner’s Cup best-of-seven title playoff at the MOA Arena in Pasay on Friday night, February 2.

The initial quarter saw both teams feeling each other out, with a bit of sluggishness in their movements. 

However, the Beermen found their rhythm in the second period, unleashing a jaw-dropping 41-20 assault that left the Hotshots struggling to catch up.

Led by the impressive performance of Bennie Boatwright, who contributed 28 points and 16 rebounds, the Beermen showcased their lethal arsenal. 

CJ Perez added 19 points, Marcio Lassiter contributed 16, and June Mar Fajardo recorded a double-double with 11 points and 11 rebounds. 

Don Trollano chipped in with 10 markers, while Jeron Teng, Jericho Cruz, Chris Ross, and Terrence Romeo all made significant contributions.

The pivotal second quarter featured an explosive display of three-pointers from Lassiter, Romeo, Trollano, and Boatwright, turning a four-point deficit into a commanding 61-44 lead going into halftime. 

The Beermen’s fiery run continued, leaving the Hotshots seemingly helpless against their relentless offensive onslaught.

Although Magnolia’s reserves, including Joseph Eriobu, Russell Escoto, and Aris Dionisio, made a late push to close the gap, the Beermen held their ground. Crucial free throws from Perez, Fajardo, and Teng in the final minutes secured the 1-0 lead in the best-of-seven series.

The Hotshots, fatigued from a grueling series against Phoenix, struggled to keep pace with the Beermen’s relentless energy. Despite the valiant efforts of Tyler Bey, who notched an impressive 26 points and 15 rebounds, Magnolia couldn’t overcome the deficit.

As the Beermen extended their unbeaten streak to 10 games, they now look ahead to Game 2 with confidence. 

With Boatwright leading the charge and a well-rounded team effort, San Miguel aims to maintain their dominance in the series when they face the Hotshots again on Sunday at the MOA Arena. 

The Hotshots, on the other hand, must regroup and find a way to counter the Beermen’s explosive plays to level the playing field in this intense championship showdown.

The boxscores:

San Miguel 103 – Boatwright 28, Perez 19, Lassiter 16, Fajardo 11, Trollano 10, Cruz 8, Romeo 5, Teng 4, Ross 2, Enciso 0, Tautuaa 0, Brondial 0.

Magnolia 95 – Bey 26, Barroca 16, Jalalon 8, Sangalang 8, Dionisio 8, Eriobu 7, Lee 6, Abueva 6, Tratter 5, Escoto 3, Laput 2, Reavis 0, Dela Rosa 0, Mendoza 0.

Quarters: 20-24; 61-44; 85-72; 103-95.

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