San Miguel weathered a late Meralco fightback and escaped with a 113-108 victory Sunday in the final day of the elimination round of the PBA Season 47 Commissioner’s Cup at the PhilSports Arena in Pasig City.
The Beermen, who saw their 25-point advantage trimmed down to 3, 111-108, with 13 ticks left on the game clock, leaned on the 2 clutch freebies of Devon Scott to seal the deal and register their 7th win in 12 outings.
The Bolts, meanwhile, stumbled out of the conference with a 4-8 win-loss record.
Scott led all scorers with 32 on 11-of-15 shooting including 1-of-1 from beyond the arc. He drained 9-of-10 attempts from the 15-foot line and hauled down 13 boards, issued 2 assists and stole the ball once in 35 minutes of action.
“I think we showed a lot of focus down the stretch even though we let the lead go down,” said Scott during the post-game presser with the best player and winning coach.
“I think going forward to Converge we want to continue to have the same grit and focus. They have a lot of great players, they have a really good import. But the focus and the attention to detail that we had for three quarters is what we have to take for the next game,” he added.
Marcio Lassiter dropped 13 points while the returning Terrence Romeo added 12. Jerico Cruz and CJ Perez chipped in 10 markers each while June Mar Fajardo and Simon Enciso contributed 9 and 8 points, respectively.
“He looked fine inside the court,” said SMB lead assistant Jorge Gallent on Romeo. “His stamina was kind of okay, but we just don’t want to push his minutes kasi this is his first game in I think nine months, so you just got to let him feel the game so that when the playoffs come he had played already.”
The Beermen will bring their 4-game winning streak into the playoffs and will clash with Converge in a best-of-three quarterfinal series which kicks off next week.
San Miguel 113 – Scott 32, Lassiter 13, Romeo 12, Cruz 10, Perez 10, Fajardo 9, Enciso 8, Manuel 7, Tautuaa 6, Brondial 4, Zamar 2, Ross 0, Herndon 0.
Meralco 108 – McDaniel 27, Black 21, Jose 16, Quinto 15, Caram 9, Maliksi 7, Pasaol 4, Belo 4, Hugnatan 3, Hodge 2, Pascual 0, Baclao 0, Johnson 0.
Quarterscores: 28-21, 70-50, 94-73, 113-108.