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    SMB takes win as Vic Manuel torments former team Phoenix

    Feb 23, 2022
    SMB forward Vic Manuel goes for a drive against former Phoenix teammate Jason Perkins.
    SMB forward Vic Manuel goes for a drive against former Phoenix teammate Jason Perkins.
    PHOTO: PBA Images

    ANTIPOLO – Orlando Johnson scored 23 points and Vic Manuel hit a conference-high 22 points against his former team as San Miguel beat Phoenix Super LPG, 104-99, on Wednesday in the PBA Season 46 Governors’ Cup at the Ynares Center.

    Johnson led the way for SMB amid the uncertainty over his future with the team while Manuel proved a thorn in the side of the ballclub he played for last conference as the Beermen notched their second straight win and fifth in eight games overall.

    Marcio Lassiter added 18 points on 5-of-7 from threes as San Miguel handed Phoenix its second straight loss, dragging it down to 4-4.

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      “Talagang parang roller coaster kami dahil first two games namin, natalo kami and then nanalo kami tatlong sunod, natalo kami and then nanalo kami dalawang sunod," said SMB coach Leo Austria on the team's campaign.

      "So far, so good naman because going to the resumption, we were so excited because our team is playing well in practice. You can see the body language of the players na they are determined to play good basketball,” he added.

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      Shabazz waits in the wings

      Johnson, who played despite the arrival of Shabazz Muhammad as potential import replacement, was aggressive from the start with 12 points in the first half, but it was Manuel who created separation between the two sides.

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      The 6-3 bruiser, who after a brief stay at Phoenix was traded to NorthPort before finding his way to SMB in the Arwind Santos trade, clustered five straight points early in the third quarter for a 58-51 lead while jawing with Phoenix import Dominique Sutton.

      He wound up with 17 points in the second half, nine coming in the third period. His putback with 37 seconds left put the game away, 102-94.

      Matthew Wright led the way with 24 points, 12 in the fourth, while Jason Perkins and Sutton added 20 points for Phoenix.

      San Miguel plays a crucial contest against Magnolia on Sunday while Phoenix faces NorthPort on Saturday.

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      The scores:

      San Miguel 104 – Johnson 23, Manuel 22, Lassiter 18, Fajardo 13, Perez 9, Ross 7, Romeo 7, Tautuaa 3, Enciso 2, Brondial 0.

      Phoenix Super LPG 99 – Wright 24, Perkins 20, Sutton 20, Jazul 9, Chua 8, Garcia 6, Pascual 4, Robles 4, Manganti 2, Demusis 2, Rios 0.

      Quarters: 25-30; 49-47; 79-71; 104-99.

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      SMB forward Vic Manuel goes for a drive against former Phoenix teammate Jason Perkins.
      PHOTO: PBA Images
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