MANILA, Philippines – San Miguel kept things together when it was most important on Friday night to win a bold 87-81 victory over Magnolia and stay perfect in the PBA Philippine Cup 2022.
The Armenians turned to their depths and then used a steel endgame to deflect the Timplado challenge and celebrate a third consecutive victory in the young conference.
Mo Tautuaa scored 19 points and five rebounds, while CJ Perez 15 and 12 strengthened with a pair of blocks to lead the club’s gallant position, overshadowed by the early departures of the two stars of the club.
Vic Manuel and Chris Ross suffered injuries that led to their withdrawal from the highly contested affair at the Ynares Center in Antipollo City.
“Even though we didn’t have Chris and Vic, we managed to survive in a very cohesive and energetic team,” said coach Leo Austria.
June Mar Fajardo scored 14 points, 10 of which in the payout period, which ultimately doomed Magnolia to its third loss in four games. Three more Beermen finished with double-digit results.
Timplados received the goods from Mark Baroque, who finished with 25 points, eight rebounds and seven assists. Ian Sangalang added 16 while Adrian Wong added 11 in the loss, which should lead to some adjustments by the finalists for the Philippine Cup in 2021.
“In the last few years we have never had (starting as) 3-0. Sometimes we didn’t even make it to the quarterfinals. Fortunately, we always managed to recover in those times. Tonight, I just hope that our injuries will recover immediately, “he added.
The Burmese also missed Spitfire guard Terrence Romeo, who was suspended indefinitely due to a back injury.
San Miguel was hoping to keep his hot start when he faced another heavyweight in the 2-0 Barangay Ginebra. The corporate siblings get involved in a week in the arena at the top of the hill.
Meanwhile, Magnolia hopes to get out of trouble when he plays for the Gin Kings this Sunday at the Mall of Asia Arena in Pasay City.
San Miguel Beer 87 – Tautuaa 19, Perez 15, Fajardo 14, Brondial 10, Lassiter 10, Cruz 10, Ross 6, Enciso 2, Manuel 1, Pesumal 0.
Magnolia 81 – Baroque 25, Sangalang 16, Wong 11, Dionisio 8, Della Rosa 5, Abueva 4, Jalalon 5, Corpus 3, Laput 2, Ahanmisi 2, Brill 0, Zaldivar 0, Escoto 0.
Fourth results: 22-25, 35-42, 60-63, 87-81.
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