MANILA, Philippines – By the looks of things, the San Miguel Beermen are more than ready to defend their Philippine Cup trophy.
Dominant on both ends of the floor on Saturday, December 12, San Miguel was in control from start to finish in their one-sided victory over the Talk ’N Text Tropang Texters, 97-84, at the Smart Araneta Coliseum.
Going ahead early 29-17 and never looking back the rest of the way, San Miguel leaned on the production of their 3 main guys.
Former league MVP Arwind Santos may have been dunked on by top overall pick by Moala Tautuaa in the third period, but left with the last laugh and a line of 30 points, 12 rebounds, 3 assists, and 4 3-pointers.
June Mar Fajardo, the reigning two-time PBA MVP, wasn’t his dominant self as he had 7 turnovers, but still posted 22 points and 15 boards. Alex Cabagnot also played well, registering an all-around game with 21 points, 8 boards, and 6 assists.
San Miguel controlled the rebounding battle 52-42 and in the paint, 40-30. The Beermen also feasted on second chance points, 23-4.
Talk ’N Text, which shot just 38% from the field, was led by the 20 points of Jayson Castro, who also had 7 assists and 5 boards but 6 turnovers. Rookie standout Troy Rosario started again and finished with 17 points plus 9 rebounds, while Tautuaa had 14 points off the bench.
The win improved San Miguel’s record to 9-1, putting them closer to a first-round bye and outright semifinals berth in the playoffs. Talk ’N Text, on the other hand, dropped to 5-4.
The Beermen will close their elimination round campaign against the Alaska Aces in a finals rematch on Wednesday, December 16, while Talk ’N Text has an important contest against the GlobalPort Batang Pier on Friday, December 18.
San Miguel (97): Santos 30, Fajardo 22, Cabagnot 21, Lutz 12, Espinas 4, Heruela 3, Tubid 3, De Ocampo 2, Arana 0, Lassiter 0, Ross 0.
Talk ’N Text (84): Castro 20, Rosario 17, Tautuaa 14, Williams 12, Reyes 7, Miranda 5, Carey 4, Fonacier 3, Rosser 2, Aban 0.
Quarter scores: 29-17, 46-35, 71-61, 97-84 – Rappler.com
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