SAN Miguel Beer withstood a brave stand by NLEX as it hacked out a 96-92 victory on Friday night to sustain its sizzling run in the PBA Governors’ Cup at the Smart-Araneta Coliseum.
AZ Reid almost singlehandedly lifted the Beermen out of harm’s way, scoring all but one of his team’s last 10 points in the last three minutes to hold off the Road Warriors’ late push led by Syrian reinforcement Mike Madanly.
“It was really tough to beat NLEX because they’re very confident,” Beermen coach Leo Austria said, referring to a side that was coming off a stunning 113-102 win over contender Alaska.
SMB thus stretched their winning streak to six games – the team’s longest run in the last five conferences – and hiked its win-loss record to 6-2, solidifying its hold of second spot.
The Road Warriors, on the other hand, reeled to their fifth loss in seven games to get stuck in second to last place in the 12- team standings.
“This is a good win for us because our target is to get in the Top Four and right now, nakikita na namin yung picture and yung isang paa namin nasa loob na,” Austria said.
With the Beermen ahead by just two, Reid fired nine straight points on two triples and an and-one play that capped a 9-4 run and gave his team a 96-88 lead, enough cushion to seal the deal.
In all, the versatile American import registered a game-high 30 points, on top of 10 boards, and three assists in 43 minutes.
Marcio Lassiter chipped in 21 points on 8-of-15 shooting, including three three-pointers, while June Mar Fajardo added a double-double of 17 rebounds and 16 points on a 7-of-11 clip from the field.
Madanly pumped in a team-high 24 points, including 16 in the third quarter that ended with the Road Warriors down by just four points.
Kwame Alexander, NLEX’s own dreadlock-haired import, added 21 markers, 13 boards, and three blocks before fouling out after 40 minutes of play, while Asi Taulava contributed 20 points — two on a bank shot that pulled his team to within 86-84.
SMB 96 – Reid 30, Lassiter 21, Fajardo 16, Cabagnot 8, Santos 8, Tubid 7, Lutz 3, Ross 3, Reyes 0, Espinas 0
NLEX 92 – Madanly 24, Alexander 21, Taulava 20, Canaleta 10, Wilson 5, Cardona 4, Villanueva J. 4, Villanueva E. 2, Ramos 2, Lingganay 0, Arboleda W. 0
Quarterscores: 23-26, 42-38, 73-69, 96-92