Beermen move closer to elims sweep with 10th straight win

San Miguel took another step closer to completing a rare elimination-round sweep by convincingly defeating Blackwater, 124-109, in the PBA Season 48 Philippine Cup on Wednesday evening at the Philsports Arena in Pasig.

The Beermen dominated throughout the game, but it was their strong performance in the fourth quarter that secured their 10th consecutive victory and sent Blackwater to their seventh straight defeat, knocking them out of playoff contention.

“Everybody’s hungry to beat us, but we just have to play as a unit, play together, we will be okay. That’s what we did here in the second half, especially in the fourth quarter,” said SMB head coach Jorge Gallent during the post-game presser.

Six players contributed significantly to the win, with half of them scoring 20 points or more.

CJ Perez led the team with 26 points, 5 rebounds, and 5 assists, while Don Trollano added 25 points with an impressive 6-of-7 shooting from beyond the arc. June Mar Fajardo also had a standout performance, recording a double-double with 21 points and 16 rebounds.

This victory not only extended San Miguel’s winning streak to 12 games, dating back to the previous Philippine Cup season, but also marked a historic moment as the franchise retired the jersey of Arwind Santos, number 29.

“Arwind helped us win championships and the management did a great job retiring his jersey. Arwind really deserves for his jersey to be retired in this franchise,” said Gallent.

“I told them to play for Arwind, let’s not ruin his night by losing today. They stepped up. They really played well in the third and fourth quarters,” he added.

With just one more win needed to achieve only the fifth elimination-round sweep in PBA history, San Miguel will face Meralco on Saturday at the Batangas City Coliseum, aiming to maintain their winning momentum at 6:15 p.m.

On the other hand, Blackwater’s Jaydee Tungcab, James Kwekuteye, and Troy Rosario each contributed 15 points in the losing effort, as they now hold a 3-7 record.

The Bossing will conclude their season against Phoenix in a matchup of similarly placed teams on Saturday at the Ynares Sports Arena in Pasig.

The scores:

San Miguel 124 – Perez 26, Trollano 25, Fajardo 21, Cruz 14, Romeo 12, Lassiter 11, Brondial 9, Teng 4, Manuel 2, Enciso 0, Tautua’a 0, Malillin 0, Ross 0.

Blackwater 109 – Tungcab 15, Kwekuteye 15, Rosario 15, Hill 13, David 12, Casio 8, Chua 8, Ilagan 7, Suerte 5, Nambatac 5, Guinto 2, Escoto 2, Sena 2, Jopia 0, Yap 0.

Quarterscores: 32-24, 60-53, 88-80, 124-109.

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