Tyler Wilkerson and Marcio Lassiter combined for 69 points to help the San Miguel Beermen blow out the Star Hotshots, 117-98, Sunday, in the PBA Commissioner’s Cup at the Smart-Araneta Coliseum.
Wilkerson finished with a game-high 44 points, including 8-for-13 from three-point area. He added 17 rebounds and two assists, while Lassiter scored 18 of his 25 points in the third quarter, as the Beermen broke the game wide open en route to improving to 5-2 in the conference for solo second.
“Our import worked really hard tonight because of the absence of June Mar (Fajardo) and Arwind (Santos),” said San Miguel head coach Leo Austria.
“I am happy to see them playing well para walang complication sa team standing. We have a chance to get number one.”
The Beermen played without Arwind Santos, who is mourning the loss of his mother. Fajardo, although available, was not used. The team hardly felt the absence of their main frontliners though, shooting 45% from three-point land, while also getting 28 points off Hotshots turnovers.
Wilkerson and Lassiter tag-teamed in the third quarter, as San Miguel used a 17-4 run punctuated by a Lassiter triple to make it a 71-49 advantage.
The Hotshots, though eager to mount a comeback, were not able to cut the deficit down to single-digits as they faltered in the end. Star saw their three-game winning streak come to an end, falling to 4-5 in the team standings.
Ricardo Ratliffe led Star with 33 points and 21 boards, while three others scored in double-digits.
James Yap tallied 17 points, including 15 in the first quarter, although he failed to contribute in the second half; he was taken out during the third quarter after suffering an injury on his right leg.
The San Miguel Beermen (5-2) will have a week of rest before facing the Barangay Ginebra San Miguel on Sunday, April 3 at the Smart Araneta Coliseum. On the other hand, the Star Hotshots (4-5) look to build a new streak as they face the NLEX Road Warriors on Friday, April 1 also in the same venue.
San Miguel (117) – Wilkerson 44, Lassiter 25, Cabagnot 13, Ross 11, Arana 8, Semerad 6, Reyes 4, De Ocampo 2, Heruela 2, Mabulac 2, Espinas 0, Lutz 0.
Star (98) – Ratliffe 33, Yap 17, Maliksi 15, Simon 14, Barroca 8, Reavis 6, Pingris 3, Melton 2, Mallari 0, Pascual J. 0, Sangalang 0.
Quarterscores: 32-30, 54-45, 85-71, 117-98.