San Miguel started out strong and cruised all the way to a 20-point romp over bitter rival TNT, 119-99, Saturday night in the elimination round of the PBA Season 47 Commissioner’s Cup at the PhilSports Arena in Pasig City.
The Beermen picked up their third straight victory and improved to 6-5 while eliminating the Tropang Giga from the playoffs of the league’s mid-season tournament. The MVP group’s flagship team finished with a 4-8 record and will miss the quarterfinal round for the first time in 4 years.
Meanwhile, TNT head coach Chot Reyes’ streak of 24 straight playoff appearances has also come to an end.
SMB import Devon Scott led the charge for the defending champions with a huge double-double output of 28 points and 14 rebounds to go with 3 assists and 4 steals in 35 minutes of play.
“This win is very important as it brings us a step closer to our goal of a best-of-three. At the start of the conference, our goal was No. 1 or No. 2 for the twice-to-beat advantage, unfortunately we didn’t have a chance at it, and we’re now chasing our next goal,” said SMB lead assistant coach Jorge Gallent who called the shots anew as head coach Leo Austria remained under health and safety protocols.
“Our defense picked up and our mentality was turning defense into offense. We did a good job defending TNT’s plays,” he added.
CJ Perez scored 17 while Vic Manuel and Simon Enciso added 16 and 15 points, respectively. Marcio Lassiter and June Mar Fajardo chipped in 11 markers apiece with the latter adding 13 boards to his tally. Jericho Cruz rounded up the double-digit scoring parade with 11.
The Beermen will wrap up the preliminary round against the Meralco Bolts. Game is set on Wednesday, December 2, 3:00pm at the same venue.
San Miguel 119 – Scott 28, Perez 17, Manuel 16, Enciso 15, Lassiter 12, Fajardo 12, Cruz 11, Brondial 4, Zamar 2, Ross 2, Canete 0, Faundo 0.
TNT 99 – Pogoy 23, K.Williams 18, Mobley 18, Tungcab 12, Soyud 11, Marcelo 6, Cruz 3, M.Williams 2, Oftana 2, Khobuntin 2, Heruela 2, Ganuelas-Rosser 0.
Quarterscores: 28-15, 64-40, 87-65, 119-99.