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Tiebreaker Times


PBA: San Miguel’s three-point barrage secures playoff berth, tops struggling NorthPort

Marcio Lassiter further cemented his place as one of the PBA’s best shooters after helping San Miguel to a 120-100 rout of NorthPort to stay perfect in the Season 48 Philippine Cup, Sunday night at the Philsports Arena in Pasig.

The veteran marksman fired four triples to finish with 14 points, tallying 1,197 career treys – and counting – to dislodge two-time MVP James Yap of Blackwater at no. 4 in the league’s all-time three-point shots made list.

He fired three of his outside shots in the first, where he scored 11 points to help the Beermen to a 36-27 lead as they began to take control of the game.

His hot-shooting apparently rubbed off on the rest of his teammates, as well. They collectively made 18 triples in the victory that kept them unblemished at 7-0 – and, more importantly, formalized their entry to the quarterfinals.

“I knew I had to be aggressive. And you know how it is when you get that first one to go. You kinda think it’s gonna keep going,” said Lassiter.

“I was fortunate in getting my first one and it just kinda went from there. I was thankful I got it out the way pretty quickly so I didn’t have to think about it.”

But it wasn’t all about SMB’s resident sniper as plenty of others stepped up in the victory. CJ Perez led the way with 29 points – 11 of which he made in the opening frame – alongside nine rebounds and six assists.

Mo Tautua’a made 15 points and five rebounds. Don Trollano supplied 13 points and seven rebounds, while June Mar Fajardo contributed 12 and nine.

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Jeron Teng chipped in 10 in the triumph that saw San Miguel lead by as many as 39, 114-75, following Trollano’s bucket with 9:43 left in the fourth.

So hot were the Beermen that they already reached the century mark, 100-63, behind Fajardo’s jumper with four minutes to go in the third canto.

That impressive outing was big thanks to the way they shared the ball as the crew tallied 31 assists – a collective effort for a crew that continues to miss Jericho Cruz due to some heel pain he felt against Terrafirma.

“If we share the ball, we are a great team. If we don’t share the ball, we’re a normal team,” no less than head coach Jorge Gallent confirmed.

Now San Miguel will try to chalk up win no. 8 against the streaking Magnolia, currently the no. 2 seed at 5-2.

The game is on Friday, April 26, 7:30 PM at the SMART Araneta Coliseum in a rematch of the Season 48 Commissioner’s Cup Finals.

“We’ll treat Magnolia as a threat to us. For sure, they also have the twice-to-beat advantage in mind. But we just have to be prepared and do things that we have to do to beat a team like Magnolia. We’ll be prepared on Friday,” Gallent said.

Arvin Tolentino, meanwhile, finished with 26 points and nine rebounds to lead the hard-luck Batang Pier.

Northport dropped to seventh in the team standings as it fell to 4-5 after absorbing its fourth successive defeat.

That makes their two remaining games in the eliminations against Terrafirma (April 24) and Blackwater (April 27) must-win outings for their quarters bid.

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The Scores:

San Miguel 120 – Perez 29, Tautuaa 15, Lassiter 14, Trollano 13, Fajardo 12, Teng 10, Enciso 9, Brondial 8, Ross 6, Romeo 4, Mallilin 0.

NorthPort 100 – Tolentino 26, Lucero 10, Bulanadi 10, Cuntapay 9, Zamar 8, Adamos 4, Flores 4, Amores 4, Rosales 3, Taha 3, Paraiso 3, Yu 2, Chan 2, Navarro 2.

Quarterscores: 36-27, 72-47, 105-71, 120-100.

Written By

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

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