Shorthanded San Miguel Beer and Phoenix Super LPG defeated their respective opponents to score big wins in the resumption of the PBA Commissioner’s Cup at the Ynares Sports Center in Antipolo on Wednesday night, October 26.
The Beermen took their second straight victory by routing NorthPort, 104-86, sans Chris Ross (knee injury) and Marcio Lassiter (health protocols), and Chris Ross who joined June Mar Fajardo in sickbay.
Devon Scott lived up to his billing, leading the Beermen to a breakaway from the start and keeping the momentum throughout the match to follow up their Sunday’s 124-116 successful demolition of NLEX.
San Miguel lived up
Thus the 3-3 Beermen climbed to a joint seventh spot with the Road Warriors while the Batang Pier dropped to ninth with fellow 3-4 Rain or Shine Elasto Painters and the Blackwater Elite.
San Miguel coach Leo Austria, said, “This game is so important for us and this win is so important because everybody’s fighting out for the Top Four, isang talo ang laki ng bagsak mo at isang panalo malaki rin ang igagalaw mo sa standings (one loss would drop you big time while one win will make a great impact in the team standings).”
“We’re fighting for our playoff bid, and we can’t afford to lose to NorthPort,” he said.
Scott marked his third PBA game on a high note, drilling in 13 of his total 25 points in the first period, with his firepower rubbing off on his teammates to eke out a much-needed win. He also grabbed 16 rebounds and issued six assists.
Austria said they were a bit concerned heading into the game as they were playing without their best shooter and they expected NorthPort to shift to zone defense but he’s proud of his players for stepping up.
He cited Rob Herndon who made 11 points as a small forward starter while CJ Perez (15), Simon Enciso (14), and Jericho Cruz (14) also came out with double-digit performances.
Prince Ibeh, for his part, had 16 points and 16 boards for the Batang Pier whose Will Navarro debuted with 14 markers including three triples. Robert Bolick struggled with 10.
Encho Serrano step up
In another game, Encho Serrano delivered 18 markers coming off the bench as the Phoenix Super LPG stretched its winning streak to four after beating Rain or Shine, 92-83.
He picked up when scoring leaders Tyler Tio and Javee Mocon struggled and import Kaleb Wesson was in foul trouble, firing six straight points at the stretch to finally put an end to the Elasto Painters’ threat.
Serrano, Rookie Draft’s second-round pick, said he has learned how to handle pressure through coach Topex Robinson’s guidance.
“Less pressure na ngayon kasi hinahayaan niya akong maglaro. Every time na ipapasok ako gusto niya aggressive ako. Kaya ayun, lumalabas laro ko (There’s less pressure now because he lets me play. Every time he lets me in, he wants me to be aggressive. That’s why my game comes out),” he said.
Robinson said he expected a physical game, knowing that coach Yeng Guiao puts much emphasis on being tough mentally.
The Elasto Painters refused to give up despite trailing behind, 50-68, in the third period, unleashing a 12-2 run to come close, 78-83, as Serrano converted a left corner three from a Sean Anthony assist.
Rain or Shine, at last, snatched the lead, 89-83, following Steve Taylor’s freebies, Gian Mamuyac’s triple, and Serrano’s baskets.
Wesson and RJ Jazul’s charities wrapped up the match. The former canned 21 markers while the latter had 11.
The Box Score:
San Miguel 104 – Scott 25, Perez 15, Enciso 14, Cruz 14, Herndon 11, Tautuaa 9, Manuel 6, Zamar 6, Brondial 2, Canete 2, Faundo 0.
NorthPort 86 – Ibeh 16, Navarro 14, Bolick 10, Balanza 8, Ayaay 8, Tolentino 6, Ferrer 6, Chan 5, Salado 5, Santos 3, Caperal 3, Calma 2, Taha 0, Vigil 0.
Quarters: 26-16, 47-32, 78-61, 104-86.
Phoenix 92 – Wesson 21, Serrano 18, Jazul 11, Anthony 9, Pascual 8, Manganti 7, Mocon 5, Tio 5, Rios 4, Adamos 2, Robles 2, Camacho 0, Lojera 0, Lalata 0, Garcia 0.
Rain or Shine 83 – Taylor Jr. 16, Mamuyac 14, Nambatac 12, Asistio 9, Belga 8, Caracut 5, Demusis 5, Norwood 5, Ponferrada 5, Santillan 2, Borboran 2, Nieto 0.
Quarters: 19-22, 48-42, 72-59, 92-83