Beermen close in on finals
CJ PEREZ and Jericho Cruz showed the way as San Miguel scored an 89-78 victory over Meralco on Friday to close in on the finals of the PBA Philippine Cup.
Perez and Cruz scored nine each in a third-quarter run that put the Beermen in control on the way to a 3-2 lead in the best-of-seven semifinal showdown.
The Beermen are looking to advance to the finals of the all-Filipino tournament for the first time since 2019.
Perez led all scorers, finishing with 25 points, while Cruz added 17.
Chis Newsome scored 24 and Allein Maliksi added 12 for Meralco.
Magnolia still in the hunt
MARK Barroca took charge as Magnolia downed TNT, 105-97, to stay in the hunt in the PBA Philippine Cup.
Barroca scored 25, with 16 coming in the first half, while Paul Lee and Calvin Abueva added 16 each as the Hotshots trimmed TNT’s semifinal series lead, 2-3.
Jayson Castro led TNT with 18 points, Troy Rosario scored 17 and JP Erram added 16.
Tropang Giga main man Mikey Williams struggled, going 5 of 16 field goal attempts, including 1-of-9 from three-point range to finish with just 13 points.
Kai Sotto makes Adelaide stopover
KAI Sotto reconnected with the Adelaide 36ers before joining the Philippine team.
The 7-foot-3 Filipino center, left out of the 2022 NBA Draft, visited the 36ers ahead of his return stint in Australia’s NBL.
Sotto rejoins Gilas next week for the Fiba Basketball World Cup Asian qualifiers against Lebanon and Saudi Arabia.