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PBA: Beermen survive Painters

by Waylon Galvez

Games Tomorrow (Cuneta Astrodome)
5:45 p.m. – Talk ’N Text vs Meralco
8 p.m. – Globalport vs Ginebra

Chris Ross scored a career-high 22 points as San Miguel downed Rain or Shine, 112-107, in the PBA Commissioner’s Cup last night at the Smart Araneta Coliseum.

The 6-foot-1 guard started in place of the injured Sol Mercado (groin) and made a key defensive stop with a steal off a Beau Belga pass intended for import Alex McLean and then scored in transition for an easy lay-up, 107-104, with 44.6 seconds to play.

The point production of Ross erased his previous high of 20 points when he was still with Meralco. Ross also had 10 assists, five rebounds and five steals.

Import Kevin Jones finished with 33 points and 15 boards while Marcio Lassiter added 19 markers for SMB, which improved to 3-1 despite blowing a double-digit lead.

Ross’ heroics came after Arwind Santos’ three with over a minute remaining gave San Miguel a 105-104 lead.

“We expect the effort from Ross everytime, that’s why he is our captain,” said SMB consultant Todd Purves. “It’s a more consistent effort from him, good shooting from him is icing on the cake.”

Rain or Shine dropped to 1-2 despite 33 points and 14 boards from McLean. Paul Lee and Belga added 13 and 12 points, respectively.

Meanwhile, Air21 has tapped Wesley Witherspoon as a replacement for Herve Lamizana in time for the Express’ game against Meralco on Sunday.

The 6-foot-9 Witherspoon, who played college ball at University of Memphis, is expected to arrive tonight.

Lamizana is the second import to be sent home following Josh Boone of San Miguel.