The San Miguel Beermen grabbed a solo lead in the PBA Philippine Cup team standings after hacking out a 122 – 106 victory over NorthPort at the Smart Araneta Coliseum over the weekend.
The Leo Austria-coached Beermen, who stretched their winning game streak to three following the Saturday win, improved to a 6-1 win – loss record followed by the 5 – 1 Barangay Ginebra San Miguel in second, 4 – 1 Blackwater Elite in second, 7 – 2 TNT Tropang Giga third, 4 – 3 Magnolia Chicken Timplados and NLEX Road Warriors tied in fourth, and 3 – 3 Meralco Bolts fifth.
Trailing behind were 2 – 5 NorthPort Batang Pier, Phoenix Fuel Masters, and Converge FiberXers tied at the sixth place while 1 – 5 Rain or Shine Elastopainters, and 0 – 6 Terrafirma Dyip.
Robbie Herndon, a pre-season trade acquisition from Converge, led the fourth quarter surge for the Beermen, as he drilled in 11 of his total 21 points in the period.
With both teams in an 82 – all deadlock at the end of the third period, Herndon’s three-point jump shot followed up by Marcio Lassiter’s trey and two-point floating jump shot gave the Beermen an eight-point lead, 90 – 82, with 10 : 47 remaining in the game.
NorthPort’s Shej Roi Sumang answered with his back-to-back driving layup to trim San Miguel’s lead to just four but his squad’s many attempts to close the gap failed as the Beermen went all out to dominate the match.
Beermen balance attack
June Mar Fajardo top-scored for the team with 21 points, nine rebounds, and three assists as Lassiter accounted for 18 points on top of his three rebounds, three assists, and two steals while Paul Christian Zamar added 15 points. Teammates CJ Perez and Jericho Cruz contributed 17 and 12 markers, respectively. Perez also grabbed nine rebounds and 12 assists.
The Robert Bolick – less NorthPort, meanwhile, leaned on Arwind Santos who canned 25 baskets to reach a milestone in his PBA career for scoring 10,000 points, making him the 17th player to achieve such a feat in PBA history.
Sumang added 20 points for Batang Pier.
In another game, Magnolia’s Mark Barroca and Jio Jalalon combined forces to steer the team’s 87-73 win over NLEX and keep their playoff hopes alive.
Jalalon, in a post-game interview, said : ” Sobrang hirap ng panalong ito. Noong first half, hindi namin alam paano kami oopensa at kulang sa energy. Nakabawi naman kami nung second half, especially sa defense. Yung ang laging sinasabi nila coach ( Chito Victolero ), grind lang nang grind hanggang matapos ( This was a tough win. In the first half, we didn’t know how to attack and we lacked the energy. We recovered in the second half, especially in defense. That’s what Coach Victolero said, for us to just grind until the end ). “
Barroca hit 18 points and Jalalon made 16 for the Hotshots who trailed as much as 15 points in the second canto.
The Beermen duo turned the match around at the start of the third period with help from Calvin Abueva, Aris Dionisio, and Ian Sangalang and they never looked back to wrap up the match and improve their winning streak to three.
NorthPort’s JR Quinahan scored 17 as Calvin Oftana and Don Trollano had identical 14.
Games will resume on July 6 at the Smart Araneta Coliseum, pitting Rain or Shine against Meralco Bolts at 3 p.m. and Barangay Ginebra opposite Terrafima Dyip at 6 p.m.
San Miguel Beer 122 – Herndon 21, Fajardo 21, Lassiter 18, Perez 17, Zamar 15, Cruz 12, Enciso 7, Brondial 6, Faundo 3, Pessumal 2, Canete 0.
NorthPort 106 – Santos 25, Sumang 20, Calma 14, Balanza 12, Malonzo 10, Dela Cruz 8, Ayaay 8, Javier 4, Ferrer 3, Apacible 2, Vigil 0, Subido 0.
Magnolia 87– Barroca 18, Jalalon 16, Dionisio 14, Sangalang 12, Abueva 8, Wong 8, Dela Rosa 6, Corpuz 5, Reavis 0, Ahanmisi 0, Escoto 0.
NLEX 73 – Quinahan 17, Trollano 14, Oftana 14, Chua 9, Alas 9, Rosales 7, Semerad 2, Ighalo 1, Paniamogan 0, Magat 0, Miranda 0.