SAN Miguel formally clinched a quarterfinal berth with a 115-106 win over Blackwater on Wednesday in the PBA Commissioner’s Cup at the Mall of Asia Arena.
The Beermen bucked a slow start with a big wind-up in the second quarter to pull off the victory and avoid possible complications in the race for the remaining quarterfinal seats.
With the win, San Miguel sealed its place in the quarterfinals, improving its record to 6-4.
Playing their first game since their out-of-town game against NLEX last June 23 in Calasiao, Pangasinan, the Beermen looked rusty as the Elite raced to an 11-0 start.
San Miguel finally gained control when it built a 57-49 halftime lead, thanks to a 25-6 run to close the second quarter.
Despite the hot start, Blackwater was unable to maintain its lead as the Elite capped off the conference with a 1-10 win-loss record.
Arwind Santos had a double-double, finishing with 23 points and 15 rebounds while Marcio Lassiter had 18 points for the Beermen.
“Makikita mo parang rusty eh,” said San Miguel coach Leo Austria. “It took one quarter before makuha ‘yung rhythm, what more ‘yung ibang team. Mabuti kami 11 days, ‘yung Blackwater almost three weeks. It’s hard kahit ano sabihin mo.”
Henry Walker contributed 26 points and 12 rebounds, while Mike DiGregorio chipped in 19 points for Blackwater.
San Miguel 115 – Santos 23, Lassiter 18, Nabong 13, Cabagnot 12, Balkman 12, Fajardo 10, Heruela 10, Ross 7, Pessumal 6, Mamaril 2, Vigil 2, Ganuelas-Rosser 0.
Blackwater 106 – Walker 26, DiGregorio 19, Pinto 13, Zamar 11, Banal 11, Jose 6, Sena 4, Cortez 2, Palma 2, Javier 2, Maliksi 0, Cruz 0.
Quarters: 28-34; 57-49; 84-70; 115-106.