SAN Miguel Beer shrugged off a full-strength Barangay Ginebra side as it rolled to a 100-85 victory on Sunday in the PBA Governors’ Cup for its longest winning streak in over two conferences.
AZ Reid heated up early as the versatile import finished with 27 points, 13 boards, and six assists, but it was locals Chris Ross, Arwind Santos, and Alex Cabagnot who brought the Beermen home with their crucial baskets down the stretch that paved the way for the one-sided win.
Ross shone brightest among the trio as the usually defensive-minded playmaker flirted with a triple-double of 19 points, nine assists, and nine boards, along with two steals in 24 minutes.
His all-around effort proved key for the Beermen, who stretched their winning run to five to tighten grip on third spot with a 5-2 win-loss card.
“We have to give credit to all of our players because they’re so focused on the game,” Beermen coach Leo Austria said. “They were too eager to win early, but I told them to control their emotions.”
The Beermen also denied their sister team of putting up its own winning streak as the Kings, despite being bolstered by the return of Greg Slaughter, dropped to a 2-4 record.
SMB led most of the way, but saw a familiar Ginebra fightback that saw the never-say-die squad nudge to within two points, 76-74, after a Sol Mercado triple with 7:17 remaining
But the triumvirate of Ross, Santos, and Cabagnot proved too much as they combined for 24 points in the fourth frame, outscoring the entire Ginebra squad’s 23-point production in the period.
Santos wrote the exclamation point by finishing an alley-oop that made it 93-78 with a little over a minute to go.
Ginebra import Orlando Johnson shone as usual with 22 points, 15 boards, and six assists, while getting significant support from sub point guard Josh Urbiztondo, who tallied 20 points built around four triples in 21 minutes.
Slaughter, back after hurting his right ankle in practice two days before the start of the season-ending conference, wound up with just six points on 3-of-12 shooting and six boards in 31 minutes.
Japeth Aguilar, another Gin King recovering from injury, contributed 16 points, 10 boards, and three blocks; he also hit the two charities that put his team in front, 44-41, early in the third quarter.
SMB 100 - Reid 27, Ross 19, Lassiter 13, Santos 11, Fajardo 10, Cabagnot 8, Lutz 5, Espinas 4, Tubid 3, Reyes 0
GIN 85 - Johnson 22, Urbiztondo 20, Aguilar 16, Slaughter 6, Caguioa 6, Mercado 5, Brondial 4, Tenorio 3, Monfort 3, Pena 0, Marcelo 0, Helterbrand 0
Quarterscores: 22-19, 41-40, 71-62, 100-85