Arguably the hottest team of the conference so far, the San Miguel Beermen continued its dominance in the Governor’s Cup and notching its seventh straight victory with a 101-96 win over the Talk ‘N Text Tropang Texters held at the Smart Araneta Coliseum.
TNT started out the match by showcasing splendid ball movement that led to early assists while Jason Castro catching fire in the first minutes. The Texters held a slim 10-8 lead in the early goings, but the Beermen were on par in terms of the exchange of baskets between the two squads. After the first timeout of the match, Talk ‘N Text were still firing as they scored successfully on all of their next five possessions capped by a three-point play by Steffphon Pettigrew and a long trey by Sam Daghles to make it a 22-11 game.
With less than 4 ½ minutes to go in the first, TNT converted on their possession on a 4-on-5 break as JuneMar Fajardo dropped after Pettigrew fell on his calf. While the Beermen got only two points in the next three minutes, the Texters were sizzling from the perimeter. Good ball denial by the Texters clobbered the inside game for San Miguel that thwarted the Beermen’s scoring chances. TNT eventually ended up the first quarter on top by 14 points with Matt Ganuelas-Rosser scoring a long two on the dying seconds.
Despite Fajardo being redeployed in the match for San Miguel, the Texters extended their lead to as high as 17 at 32-15 with bench players providing offense. Fortunately for the Beermen, Arizona Reid came to the rescue to quickly slice the lead as he scored his team’s next eight points in their 9-1 run. The furious run was extended with Ranidel De Ocampo assessed with his fourth personal foul with still over six minutes to go in the first half.
The 17-point deficit was quickly erased by the Beermen as Ronald Tubid tied the game at 35 with a pull up jumper. After a near five-minute silence from the field, Larry Fonacier finally hit a triple to stop the bleeding for the Texters. The last four minutes of the first half was nothing but good defensive and offensive exchanges by both teams as the game was tied at 45 after 24 minutes of action.
Despite a 5-0 start by TNT to the second half which included two baskets from quick plays, SMB countered with an 8-0 response that displayed their transition game to start the third. The Beermen’s interior defense also played a key role when San Miguel built their separation during the third quarter. Two straight triples by Arwind Santos gave them a 69-61 edge with less than five minutes to play in the third quarter. Despite a slow start from their bench, SMB’s second unit played tremendous defense as their squad ended the third strong and lead by eight.
In a tale of two halves starting to take over for TNT, the Texters are starting to struggle from the perimeter compared to their sizzling shooting from the first half. San Miguel was still in hold of the lead as they were able to contain the Texters from putting on successive buckets while free throws became a source of offense. Two more paint scores by Chris Lutz and Fajardo gave the Beermen their largest lead at 83-71.
The Texters slowly clawed their way back but rally-extinguishing baskets by Reid with high level of difficulty provided the needed points to keep TNT at bay. The reinsertion by Jason Castro to the Talk ‘N Text five provided some points, but it was San Miguel’s late game composure that spelled the difference en route to the win.
Reid led his Beermen once again with his 29-point exertion. Four other locals from San Miguel scored in double-figure led by Lassiter’s 15. Castro led Talk ‘N Text with 25 points, including four triples, five rebounds and seven assists. Pettigrew added 17 markers and 11 boards.
San Miguel improves to an 8-2 record and Talk ‘N Text slides to a 3-5 slate.
San Miguel(101) – Reid 29, Lassiter 15, Santos 14, Cabagnot 11, Tubid 10, Fajardo 9, Espinas 7, Ross 4, Lutz 2, Reyes 0
Talk ‘N Text(96) – Castro 25, Pettigrew 17, Fonacier 11, Miller 10, De Ocampo 8, Daghles 8, Williams 8, Seigle 4, Carey 2, Ganuelas-Rosser 2, Washington 1
Quarters: 15-28, 45-45, 75-67, 101-96