NOTHING can seem to stop San Miguel Beer’s rise and Blackwater’s fall in the PBA Governors’ Cup.
Working behind another all-around brilliance from AZ Reid, the Beermen coasted to a 115-83 victory over the Elite on Tuesday to formally clinch a twice-to-beat advantage in the playoffs of the season-ending conference.
Reid sparkled with 39 points, 12 assists, and 10 rebounds as the Beermen banked on a great start and an even better finish to chalk up their eighth straight win for an 8-2 win-loss record that solidified their hold of top spot.
The Beermen also dealt the Elite their fifth straight setback and eight overall in nine games that eliminated the cellar-dwelling squad from contention.
“Maraming nagsasabi na we don’t need this win anymore, but I can’t stop my players,” Beermen coach Leo Austria said. “They really want to play because we want to get momentum going in the quarterfinals.”
Reid typified the Beermen’s blistering beginning, scoring 13 in the first quarter to almost outscore the entire Blackwater squad’s output by himself, just one shy of their output.
The two-time Best Import awardee then spearheaded the powerhouse squad’s finishing kick, going for 17 markers in the final frame.
June Mar Fajardo proved solid as well by tallying 20 points on 8-of-11 shooting, five boards, and two steals, while Marcio Lassiter chipped in 17 points built around five triples, four rebounds, and four assists.
SMB shone on both ends of the floor, shooting 53 percent (42-of-80) from the field and forcing the Elite to commit 23 turnovers that led to 21 points as the Beermen maintained a double-digit cushion that ballooned to 35 points.
Blackwater import Marcus Cousin registered 25 points and 16 boards, but found little local support outside Brian Heruela (15 points, seven caroms, five assists, and two steals) and Reil Cervantes (11 points and seven boards in 17 minutes).
SMB 115 – Reid 39, Fajardo 20, Lassiter 17, Tubid 13, Santos 9, Lutz 6, Reyes 5, Ross 2, Fortuna 2, Omolon 2, Cabagnot 0, Espinas 0, Semerad 0
BLACKWATER 83 – Cousin 25, Heruela 15, Cervantes 11, Reyes 7, Faundo 6, Erram 6, Gamalinda 4, Bulawan 3, Celiz 2, Ballesteros 2, Laure 2, Timberlake 0, Golla 0, Acuna 0, Salvacion 0
Quarterscores: 32-14, 59-42, 80-67, 115-83