San Miguel Beer secures top spot with victory over GlobalPort in Lapu
The San Miguel Beermen secured the top spot heading to the playoffs as they outlasted the resilient GlobalPort Batang Pier, 106-100, in the final out of town game of the 2017 PBA Philippine Cup over at the packed Hoopsdome in Lapu-Lapu City.
Reigning league Most Valuable Player June Mar Fajardo made it a homecoming to remember as he scored 19 points and hauled down 15 rebounds on top of two blocked shots to help give the Beermen their ninth win in 10 games. Another Cebuano, Brian Heruela, started the game and finished with 10 points, all in the first period.
However, it was veteran forward Arwind Santos that led San Miguel in scoring as he had 31 points, including two clutch baskets that turned a slim three-point cushion into a seven-point lead, 102-95, with just 55.7 seconds remaining. Santos also had 10 boards.
Wingman Marcio Lassiter also canned four three-pointers and added 20 points.
With the win, San Miguel will be the top team after the elimination round regardless of the outcome of its last game against TNT.
The Batang Pier fell to 5-4 and into a five-way tie for second place in the standings.
Stanley Pringle and Terrence Romeo, scored 21 and 16 points, respectively, in spite battling foul trouble all game long. KG Canaleta and Mike Cortez added 14 and 11 more.
The Beermen got off to a fast start behind the play and pointmaking of Heruela, another product of the University of Cebu, who scored 10 in the first frame off a variety of daring drives to the rim that helped San Miguel get a 24-22 edge.
But the Batang Pier grabbed the lead back in the ensuing canto behind the lights-out shooting of veteran forward KG Canaleta who canned a couple from beyond the arc – part of an 11-3 run – that gave the men in green a 36-31 advantage.
The veteran-laden Beermen responded with a 15-3 blast of their own behind Arwind Santos and Marcio Lassiter who scored 13 during that searing stretch that put them in front at halftime, 51-50.
The Beermen hung on to a 97-95 lead with two minutes remaining but Lassiter swished a free-throw, and Santos sank a transition layup which he followed with a double-pump jumper from the free throw area with 55 ticks left that sealed San Miguel’s eighth victory in a row.
SAN MIGUEL 106 – Santos 31, Lassiter 22, Fajardo 19, Heruela 10, Garcia 8, Tubid 8, Espinas 5, Ross 2, De Ocampo 1, McCarthy 0.
GLOBALPORT 100 – Pringle 21, Romeo 16, Canaleta 14, Cortez 11, Aban 10, Quinahan 9, Pessumal 8, Mamaril 6, Urbiztondo 3, Andrada 2, Maierhofer 0.
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