Beermen rebound, deal Tropang Giga their first loss
MANILA, Philippines – San Miguel Beer redeemed itself from its monumental collapse previously against Terrafirma, taking down erstwhile spotless TNT Wednesday, 83-67, for solo fourth in the PBA Philippine Cup at the DHVSU Gym in Bacolor, Pampanga on Wednesday.
The Beermen raced to an early 18-2 tear and led by as many as 27 points then fended off the Tropang Giga’s repeated rallies to complete their rebound from the 104-110 overtime shocker to the Dyip a week ago.
SMB picked up its fourth victory in six outings in the marquee matchup at the Don Honorio Ventura State U Gym while staining the slate of TNT (6-1).
The Beermen also moved within striking distance of second-running Magnolia (6-2) and No. 3 Meralco (5-2).
“I think that loss (to Terrafirma) was a wakeup call,” said San Miguel coach Leo Austria. “The players are motivated. Nag-uumapaw ang energy nila knowing this is a huge game and we wanted to bounce back.”
Austria drew stellar performances from Marcio Lassiter (19) Terrence Romeo (16), June Mar Fajardo (17 rebounds, eight points), Mo Tautuaa (13), CJ Perez (13) and Chris Ross, who achieved a milestone with his six steals. Ross hiked his total to 901 and is now No. 6 in the all-time assists department.
Kib Montalbo (13) was the unlikely scoring leader for TNT, which was held to its lowest output since a 63-77 loss to Petron in November 2013 in the elims of that year's Philippine Cup.
San Miguel 83 – Lassiter 19, Romeo 16, Tautuaa 13, Perez 13, Santos 9, Fajardo 8, Ross 3, Zamar 2, Pessumal 0, Gamalinda 0.
TNT 67 – Montalbo 13, Heruela 10, Pogoy 10, Rosario 9, M. Williams 7, Alejandro 7, Erram 5, Marcelo 3, Mendoza 2, Castro 1, Exciminiano 0, Reyes 0, K. Williams 0.
Quarterscores: 24-10, 43-30, 64-44, 83-67.
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