The San Miguel Beermen recovered from a sluggish start and turned on the heat in the 2nd quarter to cruise to a 115-106 win over Blackwater Elite, Wednesday night at the MOA Arena in Pasay City.
With the victory, the defending champions improved to 6-4 and formally clinched a quarterfinal berth despite opening the mid-season conference with 0-3 card.
The Elite, on the other hand, wrapped up their 2018 Commissioner’s Cup campaign with a forgettable 1-10 record.
Team captain Arwind Santos led the San Miguel juggernaut with 23 points and 15 rebounds to go along with 3 assists, 1 steal and 2 blocks in 24 minutes of action.
Six other Beermen scored in double figures with Marcio Lassiter pouring in 18 points on 4 of 8 shooting from long distance.
Kelly Nabong came up with his best game in an SMB uniform as the mercurial Fil-Am finished with 13 points while Renaldo Balkman and Alex Cabagnot chipped in 12 points apiece.
June Mar Fajardo, fresh from an impressive stint with Gilas Pilipinas in the 3rd window of the 2019 FIBA World Cup Asian Qualifiers, played less than his usual minutes but still managed to finish with a double-double performance of 10 points and 10 rebounds.
Bryan Hereula added 10 points for the streaking Beermen who have won 6 of their last 7 games.
Henry Walker led the way for the Elite with 26 points and 12 rebounds while vastly-improved shooting guard Mike Digregorio added 19 markers.
San Miguel 115 – Santos 23, Lassiter 18, Nabong 13, Balkman 12, Cabagnot 12, Fajardo 10, Heruela 10, Ross 7, Pessumal 6, Mamaril 2, Vigil 2, Rosser 0.
Blackwater 106 – Walker 26, Digregorio 19, Pinto 13, Zamar 11, Banal 11, Al-Hussaini 10, Jose 6, Sena 4, Javier 2, Palma 2, Cortez 2, Maliksi 0.
Quarterscores: 28-34, 57-49, 84-70, 115-106.