Maybe the unconventional philosophy that find hard to fathom is working.
It may be just the PBA’s preseason tilt, but the rebuilding Kia Picanto already have something to cheer about as they edged powerhouse San Miguel Beermen, 78-75, Tuesday afternoon at the Claret School in Quezon City.
A lot of eyes were in this preseason match, knowing that the Picanto and the Beermen had pulled off a league-shaking trade that involved the former’s 2017 first overall pick in exchange for three bench players and another future draft pick.
And it cannot be forgotten what happened next after that very deal.
Everybody from Kia, except new acquisition Jay-R Reyes, listed their name on the scoring charts in the victory. Jackson Corpuz led the pack with 12 points and eight rebounds, while Philip Paniamogan made 11 markers.
Kia already sported a 74-67 cushion with 5:16 to go in the final frame, but the Beermen rallied back and threatened to stage an upset after closing within a field goal, 77-75, after an Alex Cabagnot bucket with 1:12 remaining
San Miguel had clear chances to pull the rug from underneath the Picanto, but Arwind Santos and Chris Ross missed their respective shots. They then had no choice but to play the fouling game as the clock started winding down.
Glenn Khobuntin’s split free throw with 11 seconds left to play, plus missed triples by the Beermen on the other end, sealed the win for Kia.
Marcio Lassiter led SMB with 16 points. Cabagnot produced 15, while Matt Ganuelas-Rosser chipped in 10 points. Santos nearly had a double-double with eight markers and 12 rebounds.
Both teams played on Tuesday with incomplete squads. The Beermen were without reigning four-time Most Valuable Player June Mar Fajardo, while the Picanto missed the services of new players Ronald Tubid and Jan Jamon.
Kia (78) – Corpuz 12, Paniamogan 11, Khobuntin 9, Galanza 9, McCarthy 8, Yee 8, Caperal 7, Camson 5, Celda 5, Ababou 4, Reyes 0.
San Miguel (75) – Lassiter 16, Cabagnot 15, Ganuelas-Rosser 10, Agovida 8, Santos 8, Semerad 5, Lanete 4, Austria 3, Vigil 3, Mabulac 1, Ross 0, Heruela 0.
Quarterscores: 22-25, 40-36, 61-56, 78-75.