AN under-the-weather San Miguel Beer still did enough to frustrate Rain or Shine, 82-75, and clinch a twice-to-beat edge in the quarterfinals of the PBA Governors’ Cup after their encounter on Saturday night.
Despite missing Alex Cabagnot to a viral infection and with import Mike Singletary far from his best, the Beermen managed to hack out the victory that tightened their grip on third spot after hiking their win-loss record to 7-3.
Singletary, who didn’t practice on the eve of the game, still registered 23 points and 12 boards, but it was Arwind Santos who stepped up with key plays on both ends down the stretch as he finished with 20 points and missed a double-double by one rebound.
As a result, the E-Painters suffered their second straight loss and sixth overall against four wins, leaving them in danger of missing the playoffs for the first time in 13 conferences.
“We knew the importance of this game,” SMB coach Leo Austria said. “At the start, I was a little bit worried because (of sickness hitting some players) but I challenged the players to step up and nag-prevail yung talent ng team.”
The result spoiled the debut of ROS import Josh Dollard, who tallied just 18 points, nine boards, and six assists in 35 minutes off the bench.
The E-Painters trailed most of the way, but threatened when Maverick Ahanmisi scored a layup that pulled them to within two points, 76-74, with a little over three minutes left in the low-scoring affair.
But the Beermen finished the game on a 6-1 run that was highlighted by a play that saw Santos blocking Ahanmisi and running on the break, drawing a foul on the other end.
SMB 82 – Singletary 23, Santos 20, Fajardo 11, Lassiter 6, Tubid 6, Arana 4, De Ocampo 4, Abdeen 2, Espinas 2, Heruela 2, Ross 2
ROS 75 – Dollard 18, Ponferada 12, Cruz 10, Quinahan 10, Ahanmisi 6, Belga 6, Norwood 5, Trollano 5, Lee 2, Almazan 1, Chan 0, Tiu 0
Quarterscores: 23-21, 42-30, 60-55, 82-75