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Santos, Fajardo too much for TNT as San Miguel wins seventh straight

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With the tail-end of the eliminations approaching, the San Miguel Beermen retained their top spot in the standings after a 97-84 victory over the Talk ‘N Text Tropang Texters on Saturday, at the Smart Araneta Coliseum.

Throughout the entire game, the Texters only led once, during the 7:39 mark of the first courtesy of Larry Fonacier. After going down 9-10, San Miguel closed the first quarter on a 20-7 rampage capped by free throws by Alex Cabagnot and a three-pointer by Bryan Heruela. TNT failed to convert on successive shots, allowing San Miguel to build a lead.

That edge established by the Beermen proved to be sufficient until the final buzzer of the match. During the second and third canto, the Texters won the scoring but only by a point. Before the first half ended, San Miguel had increased their lead to as much as 14 with the frontcourt of Arwind Santos, Yancy De Ocampo, and June Mar Fajardo doing damage. San Miguel committed a couple of turnovers, which TNT capitalized on and cut the lead to nine. However, Fajardo scored the first half’s last four points to give SMB a 46-35 lead at the break.

The big men dominance of SMB continued in the third frame as Santos led a 16-8 charge by the Beermen to open it up. The Texters struggled with their miscues that haunted their comeback hopes. Despite TNT slicing the lead down to ten, the game’s tempo still favored the Beermen entering the final frame.

SMB’s main guns were still on the floor as they continued hammering the Texters. Mini rallies by TNT were countered by SMB’s defense as Arwind Santos’ three pointer with under five minutes left put the nail in the coffin, while making it an 89-71 affair. The advantage built was sufficient enough for SMB to hang on en route to keep their winning streak alive.

Arwind Santos inked 30 points on 12/20 shooting from the field, 12 rebounds, one steal and one block. Fajardo scored 22, including 10/13 from the free throw line, 15 rebounds, five blocks in nearly 42 minutes of action. The two grabbed majority of SMB’s 52 rebounds compared to TNT’s 42. In addition, San Miguel had more second chance points, 23-4.

For the losing Texters, Castro topscored the team with 20 points, but needed 6/19 shooting for it. The rookie tandem of Rosario and Tautuaa combined for 31 and 10 boards.

San Miguel improve to a 9-1 record and will round up their elimination games against the Alaska Aces, 7pm on Dec.16 at the Big Dome. On the other hand, Talk ‘N Text drop to 5-4 and will finish their 11-game elimination round against GlobalPort, 4:15pm on Dec. 18 at the same venue.

The Scores:
San Miguel (97) – Santos 30, Fajardo 22, Cabagnot 21, Lutz 12, Espinas 4, Tubid 3, Heruela 3, De Ocampo 2, Ross 0, Lassiter 0, Arana 0.
Talk ‘N Text (84) – Castro 20, Rosario 17, Tautuaa 14, Williams 12, Reyes R.7, Miranda 5, Carey 4, Fonacier 3, Aban 0.
Quarterscores: 29-17, 46-35, 71-61, 97-84.

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