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With Pacquiao in attendance, San Miguel beats down Mahindra for fourth straight win


The good times continue to roll for the San Miguel Beermen.

Even with Mahindra head coach and senator Manny Pacquiao watching on the stands, numerous Beermen took turns beating down the lowly Mahindra Floodbuster, en route to a 109-80 win on Wednesday night at the Cuneta Astrodome in Pasay City.

San Miguel shot 45 percent from the field, knocking down a total of 15 threes in the game. On the other end, they stifled Mahindra to just a 33 percent clip.

The win was so dominant that it rendered four-time PBA champion coach Leo Austria speechless, “Wala na akong masabi sa kanila.”

This win is San Miguel’s fourth straight victory, keeping their record unblemished. Mahindra, on the other hand, dropped their fourth straight loss, falling to 1-6 with four games left in their schedule.

“Prior to this games, we were watching the stats of Mahindra. Tinalo sila ng small margin ng TNT and Rain or Shine. Kaya before this game, nasa isip ng players na we cannot relax against this team. Alam naman natin na every win is important,” Austria furthered.

Alex Cabagnot started the lambasting, scoring 16 of his 26 points in the opening frame alone. He went on a blistering 7-for-10 run in the frame, matching the entire total of the Floodbuster during the quarter. With Cabagnot and Charles Rhodes taking turns, the Beermen were able to erect a 32-16 lead.

As the minutes went by, so did San Miguel’s lead. The Beermen advantage went to as high as 34 points, 95-61, in the final frame.

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“Natuwa ako na yung players enjoyed the game but ang importante ay sinundan nila yung sistema,” Austria shared.

In the second frame, it was Rhodes’ turn to pad San Miguel’s lead, scoring seven points in the quarter — including another highlight jam. The reinforcement had 20 points on 9-for-11 shooting with 18 rebounds and three blocks.

“Slowly, pinapakita na niya kung anong klaseng import siya. Sana mas madagdagan pa in the upcoming games,” the 59-year-old mentor remarked about Rhodes.

Marcio Lassiter then heated up in the third canto, knocking down four triples. He finished the game with 18 points.

With the game in hand, the San Miguel bench finished the job in the final frame.

Surprisingly, June Mar Fajardo played only eight minutes, going scoreless and grabbing four rebounds. Fellow Gilas Pilipinas pool member and rookie Arnold Van Opstal had four markers in the game.

“Kailangan namin i-rest si June Mar kasi medyo bugbog siya. Ngayon, nagkaroon siya ng opportunity to rest. That’s why we want to prepare him for the bigger games including SEABA. He was not feeling well as well,” Austria disclosed.

San Miguel greatly out-rebounded Mahindra, 72-57.

Keith Wright led Mahindra with 12 points and 16 rebounds. Reden Celda and Gary David added 13 markers each. Alex Mallari, who is averaging 13.7 points, 5.5 rebounds, and 3.8 assists this conference, did not play due to back spasms.

The San Miguel Beermen look to make it five in a row as they take on the Rain or Shine Elasto Painters on Saturday, April 22, at the SM Mall of Asia Arena in Pasay City. The Mahindra Floodbuster, on the other hand, take on the Globalport Batang Pier on Sunday, April 23, at the SMART-Araneta Coliseum.

The Scores:

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San Miguel (109) – Cabagnot 26, Rhodes 20, Lassiter 18, Espinas 12, McCarthy 7, Reyes 6, Tubid 6, Santos 4, Van Opstal 4, Ross 2, Heruela 2, Agovida 2, Fajardo 0, Semerad 0, De Ocampo 0.

Mahindra (80) – Wright 16, Celda 13, David 13, Corpuz 10, Revilla 7, Yee 7, Deutchman 6, Salva 4, Guevarra 2, Caperal 2, Paniamogan 0, Galanza 0, Teng 0, Ballesteros 0.

Quarterscores: 32-16, 55-31, 86-59, 109-80

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