Santos, Pessumal set tone as San Miguel blasts weary Ginebra in Game One
SMB forward Arwind Santos was effective from both inside and out. Jerome Ascano

SAN Miguel Beer pounced on a weary Barangay Ginebra side, cruising to a 102-90 victory in Game One of their PBA Philippine Cup semifinal series on Friday night at the Smart-Araneta Coliseum.

The Beermen caught fire from long range against a Gin Kings side that was playing its fourth game in a span of a week as they broke open a tight game in the second half to gain a headstart in the best-of-seven series.

Arwind Santos and Marcio Lassiter typified the hot shooting as they buried five triples each, while Von Pessumal also connected from long distance and provided a spark off the bench for the Beermen.

“In a series, it’s very important to win the first game, but we cannot rest on our laurels,” SMB coach Leo Austria said. “But we know Ginebra was really playing well before this game, and maybe pagod lang sila.”

Game Two is on Sunday also at the Big Dome.

Facing a Gin Kings team that looked a step slower than them, the Beermen took advantage as they led most of the way and never allowed their sister squad to come closer than 12 points in the payoff period, turning to a balanced effort that saw them dish out a league-conference-high 34 assists.

Santos sparked the barrage, firing 10 points each in the first and third quarters and finishing with a game-high 23 points, eight boards, and three assists in 41 minutes, while Lassiter added 17 points, five rebounds, five assists, and just one turnover in 30 minutes.

One of Lassiter’s triples came early in the third quarter to give the Beermen their biggest lead at 64-45.

Pessumal led the bench mob with a career-high 18 points, 7-of-10 shooting, including four triples, three boards, and two assists in just 19 minutes.

Scottie Thompson went aggressive offensively as he fired 17 points, six boards, four assists, and three steals, while Sol Mercado, and Japeth Aguilar also had 17 points apiece, but found little help from the rest of the team.


The scores:

SMB 102 — Santos 23, Pessumal 18, Lassiter 17, Cabagnot 15, Fajardo 9, Ganuelas-Rosser 8, Ross 6, Heruela 4, Espinas 2, De Ocampo 0, Semerad 0

GINEBRA 90 — J. Aguilar 17, Mercado 17, Thompson 17, Mariano 12, Caperal 8, Tenorio 6, Ferrer 5, Cruz 4, Devance 4, R. Aguilar 0, Manuel 0, Taha 0

Quarterscores: 26-20, 50-41, 78-63, 102-90

Follow the writer on Twitter: @KarloSacamos