San Miguel stayed in the hunt for a top 4 finish in the elimination round of 2020 PBA Philippine Cup restart via 120-99 demolition of also-ran NorthPort, Tuesday night at the Angeles University Foundation Sports Arena and Cultural Center in Angeles City, Pampanga.
The five-time reigning All-Filipino conference champions tore the game wide open in the second canto after outscoring the Batang Pier 43-29 and waltzed all the way to their second straight win and seventh overall in eleven outings to stay in the hunt for the three remaining spots in the top four.
“We thought of this game not thinking about what will happen to a lot of scenarios,” said head coach Leo Austria during the post-game presser. “What is important for us is we’re able to win this game, especially the last two games, because we know these two games could give us a ride to the quarterfinals or in the top four.”
“We’re so happy to get into the playoffs after a week of really thinking about what will happen to us because we felt that our team was really struggling because of a lot of injuries,” he added.
Arwind Santos, who was the recipient of a flagrant foul from Kelly Nabong during the closing minutes of the lopsided match, led the Beermen charge with 23 points to go with 11 rebounds, 4 assists and a block in 31 minutes of play. Mo Tautuaa and Marcio Lassiter added 21 markers apiece while Von Pessumal, Bam Gamalinda and Alex Cabagnot chipped in 15, 12 and 11 markers, respectively.
San Miguel will take on the Meralco Bolts in the quarterfinal round armed with a twice-to-beat advantage.