CHRIS McCollough debuted with 47 points as San Miguel returned to its winning ways with a 109-105 victory over NLEX on Friday night in the PBA Commissioner’s Cup at the Mall of Asia Arena.
The athletic McCollough wasted no time proving he's a worthy replacement for Charles Rhodes as the Beermen ended a two-game losing skid and improved to a 3-5 win-loss record.
The Beermen went on a crippling 32-6 blast that turned a 56-57 deficit into an 88-63 lead. The former NBA player hit three three-pointers during that run and capped it himself with another basket.
San Miguel actually led by as many as 28 points, but NLEX made a huge run in the fourth period to close the gap to what it was in the end.
The Road Warriors dropped to 2-8.
“I have to give credit to the import. He is out there to win,” said San Miguel coach Leo Austria. “I think this win could give us some confidence and lift the morale of the team. We have a chance to get into the next round.”
Christian Standhardinger backed up McCullough with 12 points while Marcio Lassiter had 11 points and hit three straight three-pointers in the early part of that third-quarter run to put the Beermen ahead, 67-57.
But the man of the third quarter was McCollough, who had 23 points in the third quarter and even scored 11 straight points in one fiery stretch.
Olu Ashaolu scored 31 points and grabbed 15 rebounds for the Road Warriors, who outscored the Beermen, 36-12, in the final quarter but ran out of time.
San Miguel 109 – McCollough 47, Standhardinger 12, Cabagnot 11, Lassiter 11, Pessumal 8, Fajardo 8, Romeo 6, Santos 3, Ganuelas-Rosser 2, Ross 1.
NLEX 105 – Ashaolu 31, Tiongson 14, Cruz 11, Erram 10, Paniamogan 8, Soyud 7, Quinahan 5, Rios 4, Varilla 3, Ighalo 3, Lao 2, Taulava 0.
Quarters: 24-25; 51-52; 97-69; 109-105.