Shorthanded San Miguel Beer catches fire to assert mastery of Alaska
Alex Cabagnot and Tyler Wilkerson led the Beermen's onslaught from long range in the fourth quarter. Jaime Campos

SAN Miguel Beer asserted its mastery of Alaska, sending the Aces crashing back to earth with a 116-96 decision to get back on track in the PBA Commissioner’s Cup on Wednesday night at the Smart-Araneta Coliseum.

The Beermen turned an expected dogfight into a blowout as they caught fire from long range that frustrated the Aces and snapped their five-game winning streak in a rematch of the Philippine Cup Finals.

Tyler Wilkerson, Alex Cabagnot, and Arwind Santos led the onslaught for the Beermen, who didn’t even require the services of June Mar Fajardo as the reigning MVP was out with a knee injury, as well as Ryan Arana and Brian Heruela.

“We’re not expecting that we’ll be playing like this,” SMB coach Leo Austria said. “I was a little bit worried because we had a lot of injuries.”

“I was surprised na umulan ng three points,” he added. “With that kind of shooting, mahirap bantayan eh.”

Cabagnot and Santos buried five triples each, while Wilkerson added four treys for the Beermen, who knocked down 17 three-pointers as a unit as they improved to a 4-2 win-loss record for solo third spot, while handing the Aces just their second loss in seven games.

Chris Ross, the all-Filipino conference finals MVP, was instrumental in making the treys possible as he dished out 12 assists on top of 14 points in 35 minutes.

While the Beermen were on target, the same cannot be said of the Aces, who made just five of their 22 three-point attempts, while their defense was also non-existent, having no answer to SMB’s long-range bombs.

Wilkerson finished with 32 points, 14 boards, while Cabagnot added 22 points and six assists off the bench for the, who Beermen were on the driver’s seat from start to finish and enjoyed leads that ballooned to 27 points late in the payoff period.

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The scores:

SMB 116 – Wilkerson 32, Cabagnot 22, Santos 18, Lassiter 14, Ross 14, Espinas 10, Reyes 6, Lutz 0, Mabulac 0, Omolon 0, Semerad 0

ALASKA 96 – Edwards 15, Exciminiano 15, Manuel 13, Abueva 12, Banchero 12, Thoss 11, Dela Rosa 8, Jazul 6, Baguio 2, Hontiveros 2, Dela Cruz 0, Menk 0

Quarterscores: 25-18, 55-42, 80-66, 116-96 

Follow the writer on Twitter: @KarloSacamos