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San Miguel def Phoenix, 117-96 [PBA S48 Comm’s Cup | Dec. 25, 2023]

With Terrence Romeo spearheading a game-changing fourth-quarter bombing, San Miguel Beer ticked off its Christmas Day 2023 wish list.

Romeo’s 15-point sizzler provided the power to SMB’s 38-16 closing barrage that cleared its path to a 117-96 victory over Phoenix in the PBA Commissioner’s Cup’ Yuletide gig at the Smart Araneta Coliseum.

The result made official the Beermen’s entry to the quarterfinal round at 6-3 and solidified their standing in the race for Top 4 and twice-to-beat advantage.

As of posting time, SMB sits at No. 4 behind Magnolia (9-1), Phoenix (7-2) and idle Meralco (6-2).

Jorge Gallent’s troops, who stretched their streak to three matches and ended the six-game run, took a slim lead against fifth-running defending champion Barangay Ginebra (5-3). The Gin Kings are shooting for their sixth W as of this writing against import-less TNT (4-4).

In his third appearance after a four-match sidelining due to bruised knee, Romeo hit jumpers from all angles, found open teammates and stripped Phoenix of possession in that key barrage in the final canto.

“Terrence displayed how he really plays today. He’s back. When he was doubled, he passed the ball, when he’s free, he took the shots,” said Gallent of SMB’s fourth-quarter hero.

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