McCullough dominates as San Miguel revives playoff campaign

Delfin Dioquino
McCullough dominates as San Miguel revives playoff campaign
Replacing former Best Import Charles Rhodes, Chris McCullough does not disappoint in his PBA debut

MANILA, Philippines – San Miguel reinvigorated its playoff bid behind new import Chris McCullough after surviving a late NLEX surge, 109-105, in the 2019 PBA Commissioner’s Cup at the Mall of Asia Arena on Friday, July 5.

Replacing former Best Import Charles Rhodes, McCullough did not disappoint in his league debut as he exploded for 47 points, 10 rebounds, and 2 steals to lead the Beermen to their third win in 8 games. 

McCullough, who played for the Brooklyn Nets and the Washington Wizards in the NBA, caught fire for 23 points in the 3rd quarter as San Miguel enjoyed a lead as large as 28 points before fending off an inspired comeback from its foes.

The Road Warriors held a slim 57-56 advantage early in the 3rd before McCullough and Marcio Lassiter combined for 7 three-pointers in a blistering 32-7 run to give the Beermen an 88-66 lead. 

Christian Standhardinger, who finished with 12 points and 7 rebounds, then beat the buzzer entering the final frame as San Miguel stretched its lead to 97-69 – its biggest of the game.

NLEX, though, did not waver and managed to shave its deficit to 10 points with less than two minutes remaining off an Olu Ashaolu and-one, 99-109. 

However, the Road Warriors failed to score in nearly one and a half minutes as the Beermen held on to the victory. 

Lassiter had 11 points and 6 assists, Alex Cabagnot added 11 points, 6 rebounds, and 4 assists, while June Mar Fajardo chipped in 8 points and 9 rebounds for San Miguel. 

Ashaolu paced NLEX, which slipped to 2-8, with 31 points and 15 rebounds, while Juami Tiongson chimed in 14 points and 6 assists. 

The Scores

San Miguel 109 – McCullough 47, Standhardinger 12, Lassiter 11, Cabagnot 11, Fajardo 8, Pessumal 8, Romeo 6, Santos 3, Rosser 2, Ross 1.

NLEX 105 – Ashaolu 31, Tiongson 14, Cruz 11, Erram 10, Paniamogan 8, Soyud 7, Quinahan 7, Galanza 5, Rios 4, Varilla 3, Ighalo 3, Lao 2, Taulava 0.

Quarters: 25-24, 52-51, 97-69, 109-105.

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Delfin Dioquino

Delfin Dioquino dreamt of being a PBA player, but he did not have the skills to make it. So he pursued the next best thing to being an athlete – to write about them. He took up journalism at the University of Santo Tomas and joined Rappler as soon as he graduated in 2017.