The San Miguel Beermen defeated sister team Star Hotshots to clinch their sixth win in the Smart Bro PBA Philippine Cup. San Miguel’s win secured a playoff spot and helped them in their chase of one of the outright semi-final berths. On the other hand, Purefoods’ sixth defeat left them in a precarious situation in terms of making it into the playoffs.
The first quarter was an even ballgame for San Miguel and Star. A PJ Simon jumper gave Purefoods a 12-13 lead but San Miguel responded with an Alex Cabagnot trey. Chris Lutz then scored in transition for a San Miguel lead at 15-17, but Marc Pingris quickly leveled the scores. Ian Sangalang later scored to give the Hotshots the lead at 17-19, but Gabby Espinas equalized before the end. The first quarter ended level at 19-19.
The second period started similarly, with Star and San Miguel trading baskets. Marcio Lassiter’s back-to-back threes provided a slim lead between Star and San Miguel at 23-31. James Yap then scored a three of his own to level the scores at 39-39. However, an Arwind Santos put back and a Cabagnot long two provided a 41-43 lead for San Miguel at the end of the first half.
San Miguel started to exert themselves in the third quarter. Ryan Arana scored in transition to give the Beermen an edge, 53-47. Barroca then sliced the deficit for the Jason Webb-mentored squad to 52-53. However, San Miguel made a huge 12-0 run which led them to lead 71-59. Undeterred, former Letran Knight Mark Cruz scored his first trey to trim San Miguel’s control to 62-71. San Miguel ended the third quarter with their lead in singles digits, 71-65.
With momentum on their side, San Miguel didn’t give the Hotshots any chance to force a comeback. Lutz reinstated San Miguel’s double digit lead with a shot beyond the arc, 84-73. Fajardo furthered it, 88-73, to hit their biggest lead in the game. Pingris and Barroca scored late in the game to give Purefoods some hope at 84-93, but it was to no avail as Fajardo scored four straight points to seal the win for San Miguel. San Miguel eventually took the match 101-88.
Fajardo led San Miguel with 27 points and 16 rebounds, while Santos followed with 22 markers. James Yap topscored for Star with 22 points.
Next for San Miguel are the Mahindra Enforcers on December 2, 2015 (Wednesday, 7:00PM) in the Smart Araneta Coliseum. Star will also face Mahindra on December 6, 2015 (Sunday, 3:00PM) at the same venue.
San Miguel (101) – Fajardo 27, Santos 22, Cabagnot 11, Lassiter 10, Lutz 9, Ross 9, Espinas 8, Tubid 3, Arana 2.
Star (88) – Yap 22, Barroca 15, Simon 10, Taha 10, Cruz 7, Pingris 7, J. Pascual 6, Mallari 5, Sangalang 4, Maliksi 2, Torres 2.
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