DEFENDING champion San Miguel Beer opened the second half of the eliminations in style, pulling off a thrilling 90-88 win over Blackwater in overtime in the PBA Philippine Cup at the Angeles University Foundation Sports Arena in Pampanga.
Mo Tautuaa provided the muscle for San Miguel as he bullied his way with a double double of 26 points and 14 rebounds on the way to their fifth win in seven matches.
It was not all Tautuaa, however.
Marcio Lassiter added 12 points and Alex Cabagnot contributed 11 points for the Beermen, who shut down the Elite in the final two minutes and 23 seconds of the game.
The Beermen finished the game on a 6-0 run, highlighted by a go-ahead layup by Chris Ross with 2:08 remaining.
The Elite had several chances to regain the lead but committed two crucial errors and missed their final four shots.
One of them was Mike Tolomia’s desperation three-pointer that could have won the game for Blackwater.
Ed Daquioag led Blackwater with 20 points, including a triple that tied the score at 84-all with still 1:17 left and sent the game into overtime.
“”It’s an ugly game but as long as we’re winning, there’s no problem. At 5-2, at least yung isang paa namin nasa quarterfinals na,” said San Miguel coach Leo Austria after the morning game.
“It’s really hard to play a morning game. I give credit to the players. Even though it’s hard for them to wake up early and play a (morning) game, they showed their commitment and we’re able to pull this one through,” he added.
Blackwater dropped to 2-4.
Later, Phoenix Super LPG routed Terrafirma, 116-94, behind another impressive performance by Matthew Wright.
Wright exploded with a game-high 33 points on 13-of-21 shooting from the field and 6-of-12 from the three-point area, to lead the Fuel Masters to their fifth win against three losses.
Wright’s game-long brilliance included 16 points in the second quarter al9ne.
Five other players also scored in double figures for Phoenix.
RJ Jazul finished with 16 ponts and Brian Heruela and Jason Perkins added 14 points apiece.
Calvin Abueva added another double-double with 12 points and 10 rebounds in his third game back from a long suspension.
CJ Perez had 32 points, nine rebounds and five assists for the Dyip who dropped their sixth straight game and remained as the only winless team in the NBA-inspired PBA bubble.
Jusni Tiongson added 15 points.
San Miguel (90) — Tautuaa 26, Lassiter 12, Cabagnot 11, Pessumal 10, Santos 9,Ross 8, Gamalinda 5, Zamar 4, Mamaril 3, Escoto 2, Alolino 0, Vigil 0, De Guzman 0, Comboy 0. Blackwater (88) — Daquioag 20, Tolomia 17, Trollano 10, Golla 10, Canaleta 8, Dennison 7, Salem 6, Escoto 5, Gabriel 3, Sumang 2, Dario 0, Shaw 0, Magat 0. Quarterscores: 20-27, 41-41, 68-59, 84-84, 90-88 (OT)
Phoenix (116) — Wright 33, Jazul 16, Perkins 14, Heruela 14, Abueva 12, Chua 10, Mallari 6, Intal 4, Garcia 3, Napoles 2, Rios 2, Gamboa 0. Terrafirma (94) — Perez 32, Tiongson 15, Camson 11, Ramos 9, Adams 6, Gabayni 5, Cahilig 4, Balagasay 4, McCarthy 3, Batiller 3, Celda 2, Agovida 0, Faundo 0, Khobuntin 0. Quarterscores: 23-26, 59-55, 86-72, 116-94.