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PBA: San Miguel deals Arwind, all-Filipino NorthPort tough loss


San Miguel withstood the fourth quarter onslaught of an all-Filipino NorthPort, 91-88, to finally barge into the win column of the 2021-22 PBA Governors’ Cup, Sunday evening at the Ynares Sports Center in Pasig.

The Beermen nearly lost hold of a 27-point lead as the Batang Pier knocked to within three, but dodged big bullets when Robert Bolick and Jamie Malonzo missed their potential game-tying triples in the dying seconds.

“After two losses, it’s a wake-up call for us,” said coach Leo Austria as they started the conference with losses to NLEX and Alaska.

Brandon Brown led SMB’s balanced attack with 24 points. He also hauled down 12 rebounds and racked up seven assists, two steals, and a block.

The returning import actually poured half his scoring output in the first 12 minutes, where the Beermen opened things up with eight unanswered points before finishing the period with a commanding 26-9 lead.

The lead rose to as high as 27 points, 62-35, when Marcio Lassiter nailed back-to-back three-pointers with 6:27 to go in the third canto.

But what was expected to be a snoozefest all the way through turned otherwise. Bolick scored 14 in the final period to lead the Batang Pier’s fightback, including his freebies with 27.2 ticks left that cut the gap just three.

Unfortunately, he could not nail it from beyond the arc. Arwind Santos was able to get the miss and dish it to Malonzo, but the rookie winger missed as well. Perez was there to secure the board to seal the win for SMB.

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“After a lengthy talk with the team, they responded. But andun parin yung nagrerelax sa dulo, which is why we lost in the first two games,” Austria said.

June Mar Fajardo and CJ Perez each made 15 points and seven rebounds in the triumph. Marcio Lassiter supplied 12 markers.

Vic Manuel added 10 points and five rebounds in 13 minutes off the bench as the forward finally got his first win with his new team.

Meanwhile, Robert Bolick led NorthPort with 24 points and eight assists in the defeat that stretched their winless skid to three games.

Santos finished with 23 points and 11 rebounds in over 37 minutes in his first meeting against his former team since being traded for Manuel last November. It was his third straight 20-point performance for the Batang Pier.

Malonzo made 22 points and 13 rebounds, as Greg Slaughter added 10 and 10 for the team that did not have import Cameron Forte due to knee issues.

San Miguel will look to get going against Blackwater on Saturday at 5:30 p.m. NorthPort, on the other hand, hopes to break through versus NorthPort on Friday at 6:00 p.m. Both games are at SMART Araneta Coliseum.

The Scores:

San Miguel 91 – Brown 24, Perez 15, Fajardo 15, Lassiter 12, Manuel 10, Pessumal 9, Romeo 6, Enciso 0, Tautuaa 0.

NorthPort 88 – Bolick 24, Santos 23, Malonzo 22, Slaughter 10, Taha 4, Ferrer 2, Grey 2, Balanza 1, Elorde 0, Doliguez 0, Rike 0.

Quarterscores: 26-9, 49-31, 72-58, 91-88.

Written By

Oftentimes on the sidelines. Forever a student of the game. Morayta-bred.


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