Beermen back in playoff contention after close win over Fuel Masters

San Miguel snapped out of a 2-game skid by outlasting Phoenix, 108-104, Saturday in the elimination round of the PBA Season 47 Commissioner’s Cup at the PhilSports Arena in Pasig City.

The Beermen, who are coming off losses to sister teams Brgy. Ginebra and Magnolia, squandered a 13-point lead in the 3rd quarter and fell behind by a point, 89-88, early in the payoff period but regrouped just in time to register their 4th win in 9 starts and along with a fighting chance to advance into the next round.

The Fuel Masters, meanwhile, absorbed their 3rd consecutive defeat and their 6th overall against five victories.

Simon Enciso paced the defending champions with 20 points on 7-of-12 shooting with 6-of-10 coming from beyond the arc. The 31-year old Fil-Am guard added 7 rebounds, 3 assists and 2 steals to his tally.

“It was a team effort. Everybody stepped up and I can’t take all the credit, but everybody pretty much played to their best ability, they gave it their all when they were out there. Fortunately, we got the dub,” said Enciso who was adjudged as the Best Player of the game.

SMB import Devot Scott finished with 18 points, 14 rebounds, 6 assists, 2 steals and a block but also committed a game-high 7 turnovers. CJ Perez scored 16 while Marcio Lassiter dropped 14 highlighted by 4-of-6 shooting from the 3-point country. Mo Tautuaa and Jericho Cruz chipped in 12 and 11 markers respectively.

“Starting this game today, we just have to think of it as a knockout game because every win now is a big factor and it will bring us up to the standings,” said lead assistant Jorge Gallent who called the shots in the absence of head coach Leo Austria due to health protocols.

“Every game now will be a knockout game for us. We just got to play 48 minutes of San Miguel basketball,” he added.

The Beermen take a 3-day break before tangling with cellar-dweller Terrafirma on Wednesday, November 23, 5:45pm at the same venue.

The scores:

San Miguel 108 – Enciso 20, Scott 18, Perez 16, Lassiter 14, Tautuaa 12, Cruz 11, Zamar 6, Manuel 4, Brondial 4, Herndon 3.

Phoenix Super LPG 104 – Mocon 18, Serrano 14, Tio 14, Perkins 13, Anthony 13, Wesson 10, Rios 9, Jazul 9, Camacho 2, Pascual 2, Manganti 0, Garcia 0.

Quarterscores: 32-30, 60-56, 78-72, 108-104.

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