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    In-form San Miguel deals TNT a heavy beating, seizes solo lead

    Jul 7, 2022
    SMB guard Jericho Cruz scores 30 points against TNT.
    SMB guard Jericho Cruz scores 30 points against TNT.
    PHOTO: Jerome Ascano

    JERICHO Cruz caught fire in the third quarter to spark San Miguel's 115-99 win over TNT on Thursday night in the PBA Philippine Cup at the Smart-Araneta Coliseum.

    Cruz scored 16 of his 30 points when the Beermen pulled away for good on the way to its seventh win in eight games - enough to seal a place in the quarterfinals.

    CJ Perez SMB vs TNT

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    Cruz later got involved in a heated exchange with RR Pogoy in the 4:09 mark of the fourth. Both players were hit with technical fouls for a verbal altercation.

    June Mar Fajardo also scored 30 points as San Miguel also snapped TNT’s five-game winning streak, dropping the Tropang GIGA to 7-3.

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    San Miguel coach Leo Austria emphasized the importance of the win as the Beermen moved half a game ahead of sister team Barangay Ginebra [6-1].

    “We are looking for the one and two spots,” said Austria referring to the twice-to-beat advantage in the quarterfinals. “Hopefully, we can sustain it and avoid any complication.”

    “Wala na akong masasabi sa kanila. Nag-step up sila big time,” said Austria.

    Jericho Cruz and RR Pogoy are separated by the referee after a heated exchange.

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    Cruz starred in a dizzying third-quarter attack that enabled SMB to grab an 83-71 lead at the end of the period. The lead reached 19, 107-88, in the final period.

    Simon Enciso had 16 points, while CJ Perez added 12 points and 10 assists for the Beermen.

    It was a rough outing for Mikey Williams, who shot 3-of-14 from the field and finished with 11 points. TNT lost for the first time since Williams returned to the team.


      Kelly Williams had 20 points and 10 rebounds, while Jayson Castro had 17 points for TNT.

      The scores:

      San Miguel 115 – Cruz 30, Fajardo 30, Enciso 16, Perez 12, Brondial 12, Herndon 5, Tautuaa 5, Lassiter 3, Zamar 2, Canete 0, Pessumal 0, Faundo 0.

      TNT 99 – K. Williams 20, Castro 17, Erram 12, Montalbo 12, Pogoy 11, M. Williams 11, Ganuelas-Rosser 10, Tungcab 3, Alejandro 3, Cruz 0, Khobuntin 0, Marcelo 0.

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      Quarters: 26-22; 53-47; 83-71; 115-99.

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      SMB guard Jericho Cruz scores 30 points against TNT.
      PHOTO: Jerome Ascano
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