San Miguel started out slow, picked up the pace in the 2nd and sustained it all the way to the 4th to win over Alaska with plenty to spare, 119-107, Friday night at the Cuneta Astrodome in Pasay City.
The Beermen struggled early and even trailed by as much as 12, 21-9, as the Aces started the game with guns ablaze.
Alex Cabagnot, however, came to the rescue with 16 first quarter points as San Miguel took the lead at the end on one, 29-27. It was all downhill for the Aces at the start of the 2nd canto as Charles Rhodes and Marcio Lassiter took turns puncturing the hoops as the Beermen established a 24-point cushion entering the break.
The Aces welcomed Chris Daniels back in the fold after missing the previous game to give way to Nino Johnson but his return hardly made any difference as the Wilfred Uytengsu-owned squad absorbed their 2nd straight defeat to fall to 4-4. The Beermen, on the other hand, improved to 2-3.
“This is a very important game for us because we don’t want to be left behind at the bottom,” said San Miguel coach Leo Austria.
“Scary game at the start because we didn’t have a good start but nang-iwan agad. I’m happy na nagkaroon sila ng sense of urgency and we were able to recover,” he added.
Cabagnot ended up with 31 points while Rhodes and Lassiter finished with 23 apiece. Arwind Santos and June Mar Fajardo also had significant production with 15 and 14 points, respectively.
Chris Banchero led the Aces with 26 points while Daniels added 23.
San Miguel 119 – Cabagnot 31, Rhodes 23, Lassiter 23, Santos 15, Fajardo 14, Standhardinger 6, Nabong 3, Rosser 2, Zamar 2, Pessumal 0, Ross 0, Tubid 0.
Alaska 107 – Banchero 26, Daniels 23, Enciso 18, Teng 11, Ayaay 8, Pascual 6, Manuel 6, Casio 5, Thoss 4, Exciminiano 0, Racal 0, Cruz 0.
Quarterscores: 29-27, 65-41, 85-67, 119-107.