Despite their poor start in this current tournament, the defending All-Filipino titleholders San Miguel Beermen gained its second straight win with a victory over the Rain or Shine Elasto Painters, 129-114 held at the Smart Araneta Coliseum on Friday.
Defensive specialist, Jireh Ibañes drained in two triples to open up the game, followed up by a Raymond Almazan putback in a fast break to make it an 8-0 start for the Elasto Painters. After a timeout, SMB cruised to a 20-9 counter with Chris Lutz cementing it with a triple. JuneMar Fajardo made his presence felt underneath, and on the defensive end after intimidating the supposedly easy lay-ins by Rain or Shine.
Arizona Reid and Alex Cabagnot each drained in a triple on the top of the key to close out the opening period. Come the second quarter, a flagrant foul on Beau Belga triggered the SMB juggernaut, as the Beermen’s triples started to find the bottom of the net. The locals delivered from the perimeter, while the duo of Reid and Fajardo took care of business in the paint. With the Painters missing jump shots, San Miguel entered the dugout up by double digits.
Wayne Chism and the rest of the Painters attempted a comeback in the third period, slicing the lead down to as low as four points. However, the Beermen made six freethrows to distance themselves anew from Rain or Shine. Rain or Shine made crucial turnovers in favor of SMB, hurting their chances in their rally. In the latter half of the period, Cabagnot, Lassiter, and Reid combined for four triples to make it a 14-point game heading into the fourth.
Reid dialed in another triple with about ten minutes to play, and helped San Miguel hit the 100-point mark at that point. With the outcome of the game already decided and the final score yet to be determined, things got chippy between Reid and his former squad Rain or Shine, coached by Yeng Guiao, as an exchange of extracurricular activity threw technicals for both teams.
San Miguel shot a whopping 16/32 from downtown with Reid accounting for six of them. In addition, the Beermen committed less turnovers, 14-23.
Reid stuffed in the stat sheet with 41 points, eight rebounds, four assists and four steals. Fajardo was the leading local contributor with another huge outing, 30 points and 18 boards. Chism had 50 for Rain or Shine in the loss.
The Beermen improve to a 3-6 record, while the Painters drop to 5-3, tied with Purefoods at the second spot.
SMB (129) Reid 41, Fajardo 30, Santos 18, Cabagnot 14, Ross 9, Lassiter 8, Kramer 4, Lutz 3, Reyes 2, Maierhoffer 0, Omolon 0, Pascual 0, Fortuna 0
RoS (114) – Chism 50, Lee 14, Almazan 10, Ibañes 8, Chan 8, Norwood 7, Cruz 4, Belga 4, Quiñahan 4, Tiu 3
Quarters: 32-29, 61-52, 93-79, 129-114