PBA Governors' Cup

Shabazz Muhammad powers San Miguel past Rain or Shine

Martin Mendoza
Shabazz Muhammad powers San Miguel past Rain or Shine

CLOSE ENCOUNTER. Rain or Shine's Vince Tolentino reacts after a wayward elbow from San MIguel's Shabazz Muhammad.

PBA IMAGES

After struggling in his PBA debut, former NBA player Shabazz Muhammad bounces back with a massive double-double of 33 points and 21 rebounds for the San Miguel Beermen

MANILA, Philippines – Shabazz Muhammad took over for the San Miguel Beermen as they hacked out a 104-100 win over the Rain or Shine Elasto Painters in the PBA Governors’ Cup on Thursday, March 3, at the Araneta Coliseum. 

After struggling in his debut in a San Miguel uniform on Sunday, February 27, Muhammad, the 14th pick in the 2013 NBA Draft, bounced back with a massive double-double of 33 points and 21 rebounds, to go along with 6 assists and 1 block.

With the win, the Beermen, who are now assured of a spot in the eight-team quarterfinals, tied the Alaska Aces at 6-4 in the standings.

The Elasto Painters, meanwhile, absorbed their fourth straight loss and are in danger of missing the quarterfinals with a 3-7 slate.

Coming off a disappointing 17-point loss to the Magnolia Hotshots in their past outing, the Beermen went to work right away and built a 12-point cushion at the end of the opening frame, 33-21. 

Muhammad and the rest of the Beermen continued to wax hot in the second period, stretching their lead to as many as 19 points, 45-26, off a three-pointer by Mo Tautuaa.

San Miguel’s offense, however, cooled down in the second half as Rain or Shine managed to pull within just 2, 76-74, off a Beau Belga layup early in the fourth quarter.

With San Miguel still up by 2, 100-98, with 29 seconds left on the clock, Vic Manuel then sank a crucial top of the key jumper to extend their lead to 4, 102-98.

Javee Mocon countered with two free throws on the other end to cut the lead back to just a single possession, 102-100, before Muhammad eventually iced the game in the next San Miguel play with his own pair of charities.

Manuel had 18 points for the Beermen off the bench, while Terrence Romeo added 17 points, 4 rebounds, and 6 assists.

Muhammad’s fellow NBA veteran Henry Walker paced the Elasto Painters with 23 points, 10 rebounds, and 5 assists, while Belga and Rey Nambatac chipped in 19 and 17 markers, respectively.

San Miguel will look to improve further its position in the standings when it tangles with the Meralco Bolts on Saturday, March 5, at 6:30 pm, while Rain or Shine hopes to end the elimination round on a high note against Barangay Ginebra on Sunday, March 6, at 6 pm.

The Scores

San Miguel 104 – Muhammad 33, Manuel 18, Romeo 17, Fajardo 14, Perez 11, Tautuaa 8, Cruz 3, Brondial 0, Ross 0.

Rain or Shine 100 – Walker 23, Belga 19, Nambatac 17, Ponferada 15, Mocon 10, Asistio 9, Norwood 3, Nieto 2, Torres 2, Tolentino 0, Jackson 0, Borboran 0, Santillan 0.

Quarters: 33-21, 58-44, 76-72, 104-100.

– Rappler.com