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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.

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      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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