Beermen rout Batang Pier, secure playoff spot

San Miguel asserted their dominance as they secured a spot in the quarterfinals while maintaining an unbeaten record, overpowering NorthPort with a final score of 120-100 in the PBA 48th Season Philippine Cup at the Philsports Arena on Sunday.

The Beermen, now 7-0, soared to a whopping 39-point lead during the game, solidifying their position in the next round with four games still left to play.

San Miguel’s incredible performance was highlighted by reaching the century mark in the third quarter and only momentarily trailing for 19 seconds when NorthPort briefly took the lead at 15-14.

On the other hand, NorthPort’s struggle continued as they suffered their fourth consecutive loss, dropping to a 4-5 record.

Despite the convincing win, San Miguel coach Jorge Gallent acknowledged that there is still room for improvement for the Beermen, especially after witnessing a slight dip in their performance after holding a commanding 114-75 lead early in the fourth quarter.

“We tend to relax with a big lead. We just have to keep that energy there until 48 minutes. We were up by 39, and then in the last five, six minutes, it just went down to 20 because the energy level went down,” said Gallent during the post-game presser.

CJ Perez led the scoring for San Miguel with 29 points, including a strong start with 10 points in the first quarter, helping the team establish a 36-27 lead.

Mo Tautuaa contributed 15 points, while Marcio Lassiter added 14 points, shooting an impressive 4-of-5 from beyond the arc. Lassiter also climbed to fourth place in the all-time three-pointers made list, surpassing Blackwater’s James Yap with a total of 1,197 made threes.

San Miguel’s next challenge will be against Magnolia in a highly anticipated rematch of the Commissioner’s Cup finals on Friday at the Smart-Araneta Coliseum.

Meanwhile, Arvin Tolentino led NorthPort with 26 points and nine rebounds, as they look to bounce back against Terrafirma on Wednesday at the Ninoy Aquino Stadium.

The scores:

San Miguel 120 – Perez 29, Tautuaa 15, Lassiter 14, Trollano 13, Fajardo 12, Teng 10, Enciso 9, Brondial 8, Ross 6, Romeo 4, Mallilin 0.

NorthPort 100 – Tolentino 26, Lucero 10, Bulanadi 10, Munzon 10, Cuntapay 9, Zamar 8, Amores 4, Flores 4, Adamos 4, Taha 3, Rosales 3, Paraiso 3, Yu 2, Chan 2, Navarro 2.

Quarterscores: 36-27, 72-47, 105-71, 120-100.

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