MANILA, Philippines — The San Miguel Beermen survived a physical contest against the Star Hotshots, 100-89, for their third straight victory in the 2015 PBA Governors' Cup on Sunday, May 24 at the Smart Araneta Coliseum.
The Beermen got the most from its big men with Arizona Reid posting 29 points, 11 rebounds and 4 assists while reigning MVP June Mar Fajardo finished with 21 points, 20 rebounds and two blocks.
Philippine Cup champions San Miguel, shaped by a dismal Commissioner’s Cup campaign and a slow start to this conference, looked nothing like the team that used to cave when push came to shove.
"From the start we knew this was going to be a tough game for us because both teams needed to win,” said head coach Leo Austria. "I have to give credit to my players because now they’re focused. We’re on the same page. We’re in one direction.”
Chris Ross had 16 points and 6 rebounds while Alex Cabagnot came off the bench for 13 markers and 7 boards as the Beermen climbed to 3-2 in the standings.
Marqus Blakely matched Reid’s output of 29 points and added 15 rebounds and 4 assists. Guard Mark Barroca and James Yap contributed 15 and 11 points, respectively, as the Hotshots fell to 1-3 and their third straight defeat.
San Miguel, which led by as much as 19 points early in the third, weathered the Star’s second half fightback even through the highly physical play.
Both sides nearly came to blows in several points throughout the game. But the highest point was when starting forward Arwind Santos and Star head coach Tim Cone were in each other’s faces after Santos unnecessarily swung his elbows in front of import Blakely in a rebound play with 9:34 left.
Santos was promptly thrown out as he incurred his second technical. The first came after a near-scuffle against Marc Pingris. He had 12 points.
The Hotshots kept it close entering the final two minutes but Marcio Lassiter squashed the Star’s hopes and stole the ball from Yap, which led to a Reid basket, 94-87, with 1:27 to go.
Reid later drained a long jumper with under a minute left as Fajardo split his charities, 97-89, and put the game out of reach.
San Miguel’s big guys crashed the boards well and sorely out-rebounded the Star by 57-39.
SAN MIGUEL (100): Reid 29, Fajardo 21, Ross 14, Cabagnot 13, Santos 12, Lasiter 6, Tubid 3, Omolon 2, Lutz 0, Espinas 0.
STAR HOTSHOTS (89): Blakely 29, Barroca 15, Yap 11, Mallari 9, Pennisi 8, Devance 5, Melton 4, Pingris 4, Maliksi 4, Simon 0.
Quarter scores: 22-16, 46-29, 71-64, 100-89.