After a middling start in the 2020 PBA Philippine Cup, the San Miguel Beermen closed out their elimination round on a high note with a 120-97 demolition of the NorthPort Batang Pier on Tuesday, November 10, at the Angeles University Foundation Gym in Pampanga.
Arwind Santos led the balanced beatdown with 23 points, 11 rebounds, and 4 assists with a 4/7 clip from three-point land.
Fellow key cogs Marcio Lassiter and Mo Tautuaa added 21 markers apiece while Von Pessumal chipped in 15 points off the bench.
With the win, the five-time reigning conference champions finished with a 7-4 record, and in firm contention for the two remaining twice-to-beat slots in the quarterfinals.
Meanwhile, the Batang Pier sank to the bottom of the standings alongside Terrafirma with a 1-9 record.
“Tonight, we knew we had to come out, and play really hard to secure our spot in the top 4 if we win,” said Lassiter, who got Best Player of the Game honors.
“We knew it was gonna be a team effort, and I just want to thank my teammates for playing out tonight.”
Coming off a 45-all tie midway through the second quarter, the Beermen practically closed out the game in emphatic fashion with a massive 31-4 blitz running through the second half for the 76-49 lead at the 8:08 mark of the third frame.
It was all San Miguel from that point onwards as Paul Zamar drained a triple with 3:58 left in the third to extend the lead to 34, 95-61.
The Beermen bench mob then helped the veterans get some much-needed rest before the playoffs begin later this week, as they closed out the Batang Pier for good in the throwaway fourth period.
Former Beerman Kelly Nabong led all scorers in the losing effort with a conference-best 29-point performance plus 10 boards, and 4 dimes. Fellow ex-SMB stalwart Chrstian Standhardinger, meanwhile, was limited to just 10 points in 30 minutes.
San Miguel 120 – Santos 23, Lassiter 21, Tautuaa 21, Pessumal 15, Gamalinda 12, Cabagnot 11, Zamar 9, Comboy 5, Alolino 2, Escoto 1, Ross 0, Mamaril 0, De Guzman 0.
NorthPort 99 – Nabong 29, Taha 16, Elorde 14, Cruz 12, Standhardinger 10, Subido 6, Manganti 5, Ferrer 5, Guinto 2, Revilla 0.
Quarters: 24-30, 57-47, 100-76, 120-99.