Vic Manuel delivered his best performance in a San Miguel jersey as the Beermen outlasted a stubborn Phoenix side, 104-99, in the elimination round of the 2021 PBA Governors’ Cup, Wednesday night at the Ynares Center in Antipolo City.
The 34-year old Manuel, who was acquired by the Leo Austria-mentored squad just last November in exchange for Arwind Santos, came through with a conference-high 22 points to go with 9 rebounds, a steal and a block in 30 minutes of action.
Import Orlando Johnson led the team in scoring with 23 in what might probably be his last outing with the flagship squad of the SMC group.
“Talagang parang roller coaster kami dahil first two games namin, natalo kami and then nanalo kami tatlong sunod, natalo kami and then nanalo kami dalawang sunod,” said SMB coach Leo Austria during the post-game presser.
“So far, so good naman because going to the resumption, we were so excited because our team is playing well in practice. You can see the body language of the players na they are determined to play good basketball,” he added.
Marcio Lassiter added 18 points spiked by 5-of-7 shooting from long distance while June Mar Fajardo added a double-double of 13 markers and a game-high 15 boards.
The Beermen, who picked up their second straight win and improved to 5-3, take a three-day break before clashing with the league-leading Magnolia Hotshots on Sunday, February 27 in the same venue.
San Miguel 104 – Johnson 23, Manuel 22, Lassiter 18, Fajardo 13, Perez 9, Ross 7, Romeo 7, Tautuaa 3, Enciso 2, Brondial 0.
Phoenix Super LPG 99 – Wright 24, Perkins 20, Sutton 20, Jazul 9, Chua 8, Garcia 6, Pascual 4, Robles 4, Manganti 2, Demusis 2, Rios 0.
Quarterscores: 25-30, 49-47, 79-71, 104-99.