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Streak-busters: San Miguel makes it four straight at expense of Barako’s perfect record



In a high-scoring affair and a battle of win streaks at hand, San Miguel Beermen came on top in notching another win while staining the then-immaculate record of Barako Bull with a 116-113 thriller at the Smart Araneta Coliseum on Wednesday.

The opening period was a display of hot shooting by both teams, as an exchange of offense blossomed from the opening tip. The closely-contested start showed five lead changes between the teams while Liam McMorrow played a monstrous start anew against SMB’s bigs. By the six minute mark of the first, the two squads already combined for 39 points. Former Beerman Joseph Yeo scored on a leaning jump shot that gave Barako its largest lead of the opening frame at 28-21.

McMorrow proved to be too strong underneath versus the Beermen’s frontline roster. As he played the entire opening period, tallied 15 points and was a force on the boards as he grabbed eight rebounds, six of which coming from the offensive end that helped his squad end the quarter up by three points.

JuneMar Fajardo was assessed with his third personal foul within a minute passing by the second quarter. Fortunately for the Beermen, they quickly scored on a 9-0 run capped by an Alex Cabagnot triple as SMB regained the lead at 39-35. WIth McMorrow sitting down, the Beermen had an easier time time collecting the boards and their bench players stepped up to provide the needed scoring.

Seeing their lead evaporate, McMorrow was quickly redeployed back into the ball game after a quick breather. The bench players for Barako continued the scoring barrage as they scored an 8-2 run to once again swing the advantage back in their favor. In the first half’s last five minutes, the Barako reinforcement once again piled up the rebounds while their squad had a good time scoring from the charity stripe during their 16-6 scoring run to end the first half up by four.

With the same theme from the first half, the second showed a similar display of scoring  from both teams. San Miguel rallied back to take the lead, but the Beermen had no clear advantage in terms of holding the momentum. In a game of runs, Barako rallied during the third quarter due to the tandem of Yeo and McMorrow providing the necessary baskets to make it 80-72.

As turnovers started to pile up for Barako, San Miguel pounded the rock to their interior players in Fajardo and Reid. From this point, the theme was simple for the Beermen as they kicked out the ball to their shooters if multiple defenders fronted their bigs. With this, they quickly used a 15-6 rampage within three minutes to head into the final period up by a solitary point.

For the majority of the fourth period, the Beermen held on to the lead but Barako kept on knocking on the door and hung onto the ball game. Ronald Tubid knocked down a huge triple to give his squad a 105-99 lead with six minutes to play. Yeo, however, cemented an 8-2 response to tie things up with 1:50 left to play.

After an exchange of misses, Marcio Lassiter drained a jumper for San Miguel that was countered by a cold-blooded triple by JC Intal that gave Barako a one point lead. In the dying seconds however, AZ Reid answered back with a jumper while also playing good defense on the other side. In addition, Reid added a block while he and Fajardo swished in the game-sealing free throws for the win.

Despite being outscored more in the paint, 66-50 and outrebounded at 56-44, San Miguel ended up having more assists, 23-13 and had less turnovers, 11-15.

Reid and Fajardo each had 22 points for the Beermen, who racked up their fourth straight wins after dropping their first two games. In addition to McMorrow’s huge 31-point game, Joseph Yeo added 25 for the losing club.

Barako Bull’s next game will be up against Rain or Shine while San Miguel faces Brgy. Ginebra. Both games will be played on Sunday, May 31 also at the Smart Araneta Coliseum.

The Scores:

San Miguel(116) – Fajardo 22, Reid 22, Lassiter 18, Tubid 13, Ross 12, Cabagnot 11, Espinas 8, Reyes 4, Santos 2, Lutz 2, Omolon 0

Barako Bull(113) – McMorrow 31, Yeo 25, Intal 14, Lanete 12, Maierhofer 10, Pascual 8, Garcia 6, Wilson 3, Lastimosa 2, Chua 2, Hubalde 0, Ababou 0

Quarters: 30-33, 59-55, 87-88, 116-113

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