MANILA, Philippines – San Miguel breathe life into its dwindling playoff hopes in the PBA Commissioner’s Cup after hacking out a 108-104 win over Phoenix at the PhilSports Arena on Saturday, November 19.
Simon Enciso netted a game-high 20 points to lead six players in double figures as the Beermen held off a late Fuel Masters surge to halt their two-game skid and improve to 4-5 for 8th place.
Phoenix trimmed a 106-99 deficit to a whisker after a Javee Mocon jumper and Tyler Tio triple, but the Fuel Masters shot themselves in the foot in the final minute with a pair of rushed shots.
Jason Perkins missed a chance to give Phoenix the upper hand with a bungled layup, although San Miguel left the comeback door ajar after seeing import Devon Scott split his free throws for a 106-104 lead with 11.8 ticks left.
Needing only two points for the tie, Fuel Masters guard RJ Jazul instead fired a contested three-pointer and missed as the Beermen held on to the win.
CJ Perez sealed the victory by sinking his charities.
Scott finished with 18 points, 14 rebounds, 6 assists, and 2 steals, Perez churned out 16 points, 4 assists, 3 rebounds, and 3 steals, while Marcio Lassiter added 14 points.
Mo Tautuaa and Jericho Cruz chimed in 12 and 11 points, respectively, for San Miguel, which won despite the absence of head coach Leo Austria due to health and safety protocols.
Assistant coach Jorge Gallent filled in for Austria.
Mocon put up 18 points and 7 rebounds in their third straight loss.
Once the hottest team in the league with five consecutive victories, the Fuel Masters have dropped to 5-6 as they lost a chance to clinch a twice-to-beat playoff bonus.
Rookies Tyler Tio and Encho Serrano each had 14 points for Phoenix, Perkins tallied 13 points, while import Kaleb Wesson totaled 10 points, 13 rebounds, 7 assists, and 3 steals.
San Miguel 108 – Enciso 20, Scott 18, Perez 16, Lassiter 14, Tautuaa 12, Cruz 11, Zamar 6, Manuel 4, Brondial 4, Herndon 3.
Phoenix 104 – Mocon 18, Serrano 14, Tio 14, Perkins 13, Anthony 13, Wesson 10, Rios 9, Jazul 9, Camacho 2, Pascual 2, Manganti 0, Garcia 0.
Quarters: 32-30, 60-56, 78-72, 108-104.