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San Miguel decks Rain or Shine to secure twice-to-beat

MANILA, Philippines – Michael Singletary had a game-high 23 points plus 12 rebounds and the San Miguel Beermen clinched a spot in the top 4 with an 82-75 victory over the struggling Rain or Shine Elasto Painters in the 2016 PBA Governors' Cup on Saturday, September 10 at the Mall of Asia Arena.

The Beermen, this season's Philippine Cup champions, are now assured of a twice-to-beat advantage in the quarterfinals with a 7-3 record.

"We’re happy with this win because we know the importance of this game," said head coach Leo Austria.

Arwind Santos scattered 20 points with 9 rebounds and 4 blocks, including one on Maverick Ahanmisi down the stretch. June Mar Fajardo chipped in 11 points, 12 rebounds, and 4 blocks.

San Miguel made do without primary guard Alex Cabagnot, whom Austria said was out with a viral infection. Import Singletary also had an infection but still played.

Comebacking import Joshua Dollard, who suited up for Barako Bull in 2014, played his first game this conference as Rain or Shine's third import, leading the team with 18 points, 9 rebounds, and 6 assists.

Jewel Ponferada added 12 points. Jericho Cruz and JR Quiñahan each had 10 markers as Rain or Shine's usual offensive weapons like Paul Lee (two points), Jeff Chan (scoreless), and Beau Belga (6 points) had a quiet night.

This season's Commissioner's Cup champions fell behind 30-42 by halftime but rallied to within 74-76 with over two minutes remaining in the contest. But turnovers and defensive lapses allowed San Miguel to pull away for good.

Rain or Shine lost its second straight game and fell to 4-6, putting them on the brink of elimination.

Scores:

San Miguel (82): Singletary 23, Santos 20, Fajardo 11, Lassiter 6, Tubid 6, Arana 4, De Ocampo 4, Abdeen 2, Espinas 2, Heruela 2, Ross 2.

Rain or Shine (75): Dollard 18, Ponferada 12, Cruz 10, Quinahan 10, Ahanmisi 6, Belga 6, Norwood 5, Trollano 5, Lee 2, Almazan 1, Chan 0, Tiu 0.

Quarter scores: 23-21, 42-30, 60-55, 82-75.

– Rappler.com