PBA Philippine Cup

Tautuaa turns in best game of season to keep San Miguel perfect

Delfin Dioquino

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Tautuaa turns in best game of season to keep San Miguel perfect

LAYUP. Mo Tautuaa in action for the San Miguel Beermen in the 2024 PBA Philippine Cup.

PBA Images

Mo Tautuaa takes over in the fourth quarter against upset-hungry Terrafirma as San Miguel stays unscathed in the PBA Philippine Cup

MANILA, Philippines – Beating San Miguel becomes even more difficult when guys like Mo Tautuaa hit their groove.

Tautuaa played his best game of the season for the Beermen, who stayed perfect in the PBA Philippine Cup after surviving stubborn Terrafirma in a thrilling 113-110 win at the Ninoy Aquino Stadium on Wednesday, April 10.

Coming off the bench, Tautuaa erupted for 17 of his season-high 24 points in the fourth quarter to help San Miguel overcome an inspired performance by the Dyip as it hiked its record to 5-0.

Tautuaa hit a pair of three-pointers in the fourth quarter and scored a layup with 15 seconds remaining that gave the Beermen enough cushion to deny Terrafirma a second straight upset.

“Playing for San Miguel, you always kind of have that target on your back. You’re going to get everyone’s best game. That’s what we saw tonight,” said Tautuaa.

“They were all shooting, everyone was playing well. It’s almost like they had nothing to lose. It’s a good team. They got what they need to win.”

Fresh from a stunning win over Barangay Ginebra last Sunday, April 7, the Dyip built a lead as big as 12 points and kept in step with mighty San Miguel down the stretch thanks to a sizzling shooting display by Isaac Go.

Go knocked down a career-high seven triples to finish with 21 points as he engaged Tautuaa to an unusual shootout between two big men.

Tautuaa sank a trey for a 111-107 lead before Go answered with a three-pointer of his own with under a minute left to cut their deficit to a whisker.

But Tautuaa – who also put up 8 rebounds and 4 assists – got the last laugh as he converted a reverse layup off a June Mar Fajardo pass for the final tally before Go missed his potential game-tying triple at the buzzer.

“Mo’s a great talent and Mo knows that. He just has to play his game and just focus on what he has to do and Mo will be Mo,” said Beermen head coach Jorge Gallent.

CJ Perez topscored for San Miguel with 25 points on top of 6 rebounds and 5 assists, while Fajardo produced his 13th straight double-double of the season with 20 points and 17 rebounds to go with 6 assists.

The Beermen also drew solid outing from Terrence Romeo, who churned out 16 points and 4 assists.

Juami Tiongson and Javi Gomez de Liaño, the heroes in their upset of the Gin Kings, fired 24 and 21 points, respectively, in the loss that dropped Terrafirma to 4-4.

Top pick Stephen Holt flirted with a triple-double in the loss with 18 points, 10 assists, 7 rebounds, and 3 steals.

The Scores

San Miguel 113 – Perez 25, Tautuua 24, Fajardo 20, Romeo 16, Cruz 9, Manuel 7, Lassiter 6, Trollano 5, Ross 1, Enciso 0, Teng 0.

Terrafirma 110 – Tiongson 24, Go 21, Gomez de Liano 21, Holt 18, Carino 9, Cahilig 6, Sangalang 5, Ramos 4, Alolino 2, Olivario 0, Calvo 0.

Quarters: 24-26,, 45-54, 78-75, 113-110.

– Rappler.com

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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.