MAHINDRA big man Jason Ballesteros caught an entry pass and found himself wide-open down low – only to bungle a layup halfway through the fourth quarter.
That more or less summed up the Floodbuster’s day as San Miguel Beer cruised to a 109-80 victory to sustain its unbeaten run in the PBA Commissioner’s Cup on Wednesday night at the Astrodome.
The Beermen pounced on a listless Floodbuster side as they maintained a huge a lead that ballooned to 34 points to coast to their fourth straight win - and end a curse against the Floodbuster in import-loaded conferences.
Alex Cabagnot and Charles Rhodes led the Beermen, who had the luxury of limiting June Mar Fajardo to less than nine minutes of play.
Despite the presence of officially listed coach Manny Pacquiao, the Floodbuster dropped a fourth straight assignment and sixth overall against one win.
“Tumatak sa utak nila na we can’t take this team for granted,” SMB coach Leo Austria said. “Lagi kaming tinatalo ng team na ‘to (sa import-loaded conferences).”
“But I was surprised sa mga players na tlaagang nilaro nila,” he added as his team beat the Mahindra franchise for the first time ever in a tournament with imports.
Cabagnot fired a game-high 26 points in just three quarters and missed a double-double by just two rebounds, while dishing out four assists in just 25 minutes of play, while the import Rhodes also scored all his 20 points in the first three quarters as the Beermen starters rested in the fourth.
Marcio Lassiter added 18 points, three boards, three assists, and one steal, while Gabby Espinas led the bench mob with 12 points, three boards, two blocks, and two assists.
The game was so lopsided that the Beermen could afford to have Fajardo go scoreless for only the second time in his career - and for the first time in four years.
Keith Wright paced the Floodbuster with 16 points and 12 boards for a team that shot a dismal 33 percent (35-of-106) from the field.
SMB 109 – Cabagnot 26, Rhodes 20, Lassiter 18, Espinas 12, McCarthy 7, Reyes 6, Tubid 6, Santos 4, Van Opstal 4, Ross 2, Heruela 2, Agovida 2, Fajardo 0, Semerad 0, De Ocampo 0
MAHINDRA 80 – Wright 16, Celda 13, David 13, Corpuz 10, Revilla 7, Yee 7, Deutchman 6, Salva 4, Guevarra 2, Caperal 2, Paniamogan 0, Galanza 0, Teng 0, Ballesteros 0
Quarterscores: 32-16, 55-31, 86-59, 109-80