PBA: Beermen return with a bang, pummel Meralco
MANILA, Philippines - The comebacking San Miguel Beermen sent out a loud and clear message to the rest of the league in their first game back with the iconic team name.
The Beermen, who switched back to their famous name at the end of the Philippine Cup after carrying the Petron Blaze Boosters name from 2011-2014, came out firing in their debut in the 2014 PLDT Home TVolusion Commissioner's Cup as they pummeled the Meralco Bolts, 94-76, on Friday, March 7 at the Smart Araneta Coliseum.
"Talagang we need this win, there's a lot of pressure for us, dahil Petron and San Miguel," said newly appointed coach Biboy Ravanes after the game. "We just told our players to just play our game." (We really need this win, there's a lot if pressure for us because of Petron and San Miguel.)
"Just really happy for the win. We're just trying to create some chemistry," added active consultant Todd Purves.
San Miguel remained consistent with their offense in the first half, dropping 20 points each in the first two periods. But it was their defense that handed them their first victory in the import-laden conference as they allowed Meralco only 9 points in the second frame.
The Beermen managed to be dominant despite playing without sophomore bigman June Mar Fajardo who sat out due to a left ankle sprain.
Their import Josh Boone, who reportedly will be replaced with a new import, was also out for long stretches of the game due to foul trouble. He finished with 16 points and 16 rebounds.
"I'd like to commend our import Josh," said Ravanes. "Alam niyang papalitan siya but he still played. We appreciate his professionalism." (He knows he will be replaced but he still played.)
Ravanes and Purves made no announcement just yet of a replacement import.
San Miguel sizzled from rainbow country in the second half, drilling 5 of their 6 triples.
Chris Lutz notched the biggest lead of the game at the 6:29 mark of the fourth with a completed 4-point play to make it 80-60.
San Miguel also produced 26 second-chance points as they dominated the boards 56-49.
The Bolts failed to space the floor and execute sufficient ball movement, registering a dismal 8 assists for the entire game. Whereas San Miguel dished out 27.
Arwind Santos and Doug Kramer added 16 and 14 markers, respectively, for San Miguel.
While Meralco import Brian Butch carried the Bolts with a double-double of 29 points and 21 rebounds. Gary David chipped in 20 markers as well.
San Miguel: 94: Boone 16, Santos 16, Kramer 14, Lassiter 12, Mercado 8, Tubid 7, Duncil 6, Lutz 6, Hubalde 4, Ross 4, Maierhofer 1, Taha 0.
Meralco 76: Butch 29, David 20, Hugnatan 8, Hodge 7, Wilson 5, Al-Hussaini 4, Caram 2, Artadi 1, Ildefonso 0, Salvacion 0, Guevarra 0, Dillinger 0.
Quarter scores: 20-20, 40-29, 69-52, 94-76.- Rappler.com