The San Miguel Beermen grabbed their third straight win and a share of the top spot in the league after a 103-89 routing of the still winless Barako Bull Energy, Sunday afternoon at the Araneta Coliseum.
Former Most Valuable Player Arwind Santos gave a masterful 27-point performance built on 9-of-9 shooting from the field, including five successful three-point shots. The 2013 MVP also had 7 rebounds and 3 assists.
The first quarter saw fiery shooting from both squads, but the Beermen were able to gain momentum and pace the contest, thanks to a 12-point performance from former MVP Arwind Santos. San Miguel closed out the quarter with a narrow 26-24 lead.
Both teams would show off more hot shooting in the second quarter, but the lead stayed with San Miguel for most of the quarter. A corner triple from JC Intal gave Barako Bull a taste of the lead, 43-42, with just 40.8 seconds left on the clock. Reigning MVP June Mar Fajardo split a free throw charity with just under twenty seconds to go to force a 43-43 all deadlock, but a sneaky lay-in from RR Garcia shortly before the buzzer expired gave Barako Bull the 45-43 edge heading into half time.
The Beermen took back the lead four minutes into the third period after a lay-up from June Mar Fajardo put them on top once more, 51-49. Back in the driver’s seat, the Beermen would go on to lead as much as twelve points in the quarter. Down 59-68 with less than two minutes left on the clock, Barako Bull embarked on 9-2 run that trimmed the Beermen’s double-digit lead in a flash. Veteran Dennis Miranda capped off the run with a buzzer beating trifecta to bring Barako Bull within striking distance, 68-70, at the end of the third.
The two squads traded baskets for most of the quarter, but with less than four minutes left on the clock, a 6-0 run put the Beermen on top, 89-83. Led by Miranda, Barako Bull was able to trim the lead to two points, 87-89, entering the final two minutes. Baskets from Marcio Lassiter and Arwind Santos extended the lead to seven points, 94-87, with a minute left on the clock. Barako Bull would go on to miss every opportunity to end the bleeding, and the Beermen would only pile on the lead, finding success at the free throw line in the dying seconds.
Marcio Lassiter added 20 points to San Miguel’s cause, while reigning MVP June Mar Fajardo had 18 points, 11 rebounds, and 2 blocks.
Dennis Miranda, Santos’ former college teammate at Far Eastern University, led Barako Bull with 17 points off the bench. Barako Bull is currently at 0-3, while San Miguel rises to 3-0, sharing the top spot with the Alaska Aces.