San Miguel displayed the form that made them the four-time defending champion and pulled off a lopsided 100-88 victory over elimination round top-notcher Phoenix Pulse Fuel Masters to take Game 1 of the best-of-seven series, Saturday night at the MOA Arena in Pasay City.
The Beermen actually started the game flat and even surrendered the 1st quarter to the Fuel Masters but once they got their bearings they tore the game wide open and even a strong 4th quarter run by their opponents couldn’t turn the tide.
Alex Cabagnot top-scored for the Beermen with 26 points spiked by 5 of 9 shooting from 3-point country. The 36-year old Fil-Am also had a team-high 7 assists and 3 steals in the series opener.
Arwind Santos finished with only 9 markers, all from long distance, but the last one was the dagger and it came just as the Fuel Masters came tantalizingly close at 89-82 after being down by as much as 24.
June Mar Fajado, who had another injury scare in the second period by falling to the floor face first, was held by the suffocating Phoenix defense to a conference low 9 points and even fouled out of the game late in the fourth.