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San Miguel trounces Meralco, extends winning run to five to grab share of no. 1 spot

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The San Miguel Beermen kept their bid for the top spot in the conference alive, after plowing through a struggling Meralco Bolts, 88-77, Friday night at the Araneta Coliseum.

Philippine Sports News - Tiebreaker Times San Miguel trounces Meralco, extends winning run to five to grab share of no. 1 spot

Photo courtesy of Nuki Sabio

Both teams enjoyed seamless shooting in the first quarter, with the Beermen leading for most of the period. A late quarter turnaround spurred by a Ryan Buenafe triple gave the Bolts the means to close out the quarter on top, 24-22. Both squads resumed trading baskets early in the second quarter, with San Miguel slowly gaining the upper hand. The Beermen rose up defensively late in the quarter to pull away and build a double digit lead to end the second period, 44-34.

Despite a hot-shooting Cliff Hodge, the Bolts could only watch as the Beermen’s lead ballooned in the third quarter. Powered by spitfire shooting from veteran gunner Ronald Tubid, who had eight points in the quarter, the Beermen led by as many as 16 late in the third, before eventually closing out the period with a sizeable 72-59 edge.

The Bolts managed to trim the lead to single digits early in the fourth quarter, but the Beermen only pulled away once more. Meralco continued struggling to put up the easy shot against San Miguel’s stiffening defense, and entering the final two minutes, the Beermen still led by double digits, 85-74, and only went on to sink a couple more baskets to put the icing on the cake.

Rookie Ronald Pascual, the third overall pick out of San Sebastian College – Recoletos in the 2014 draft was given Player of the Game honors after bagging 15 points and 8 rebounds. Reigning MVP June Mar Fajardo led the scoring for San Miguel with 21 points, along with 11 rebounds. Cliff Hodge led the Bolts with 19 markers. The Beermen improve to 8-1, joining the Alaska Aces at the top of the standings, who triumphed earlier today against the NLEX Road Warriors. The Aces are the only team to have defeated the Beermen so far in the Philippine Cup. Meralco meanwhile slides to 3-6.

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