MANILA, Philippines – San Miguel put things together when it was crucial to pull off a courageous 87-81 win against Magnolia on Friday night and to be perfect in the 2022 PBA Philippine Cup.
The Bearmen go back to their depths and then use a still endgame to counter the Timplador challenge and win a third-straight win at the youth conference.
Mo Tautua has 19 points and five rebounds where CJ Perez spikes 15 and 12 with a pair of blocks to lead the club to a bold position due to the early departure of the two stars of the club.
Vic Manuel and Chris Ross suffered injuries that led to their withdrawal from the fiercely-contested event at the Yanares Center in Antipolo City.
Coach Leo Austria said: “Although we did not have Chris and Vic, we were able to survive in a very united and energetic team.”
Jun Mar Fazardo chipped in 14 points, including 10 in the payoff period that eventually destroyed Magnolia at the third rate in four games. Three more Bearmen finished with double-digit scores.
Timplados got the product from Mark Baroque, who finished with 25 points, eight rebounds and seven assists. Ian Sangalang added 16 while Adrian Ong added 11 in a losing effort that would have to make some adjustments from the 2021 Philippine Cup finalists.
“In the last few years, we’ve never (like this) started 3-0. Sometimes, we rarely get to the quarter finals. Fortunately, we were always able to recover at that time. Tonight, I just hope our injuries heal now, “he added.
The Bearmen missed Spitfire guard Terrence Romeo, who has been sidelined indefinitely due to a back injury.
San Miguel is hoping to maintain its heated start when it goes 2-0 against another heavyweight in Barangay Geneva. The corporate siblings have been gathering at the top of the hill for a week now.
Magnolia, meanwhile, is hoping to free herself from the shackles while playing with Jean Kings this Sunday at the Asia Arena Mall in the town of Pace.
San Miguel Bear 87 – Tautua 19, Perez 15, Fazardo 14, Brundial 10, Lacitar 10, Cross 10, Ross 6, Enciso 2, Manuel 1, Pesumal 0.
Magnolia 81 – Baroca 25, Sangalang 16, Ong 11, Dionicio 8, Della Rosa 5, Abueva 4, Jalalon 5, Corpus 3, Laput 2, Ahanmisi 2, Brill 0, Jaldivar 0, Escoto
Quarterscores: 22-25, 35-42, 60-63, 87-81.
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