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PBA: SMB grabs share of lead

SMB's Jeric Fortuna tries to evade the defense of GlobalPort's Noy Baclao during PBA action at Smart Araneta Coliseum.   Photo by Tony Pionilla

Manila, Philippines – San Miguel Beer used a big second quarter run to score a 95-69 victory over Globalport in the PBA Philippine Cup last night at the Smart Araneta Coliseum.

Former league MVP Arwind Santos scored 11 of his game-high 19 points in that decisive stretch by SMB, which scored 35 points that turned a 21-17 advantage to a 56-29 spread at halftime.

During that blitzkrieg, SMB shot 10-of-20 (50%) from the field, with Santos going 4-of-6, while the defense limited Globalport to a miserable 5-of-23 (22%) shooting.

Reigning MVP June Mar Fajardo had 17 points and 13 rebounds for SMB, while Chris Ross and Ronald Tubid contributed 12 markers and Chris Lutz and Jeric Fortuna 10 apiece.

San Miguel Coach Leo Austria commended his players for going out strong in the first half, something he expected since they were able to prepare for the game in the last five days.

“I think out of our eight games, this is the best win we had,” said Austria as the Beermen shot a total of 31-of-69 (45%) from the field despite committing 16 turnovers.

Another factor that went their way, Austria said, was Globalport’s recent loss to Alaska (87-84 in Cagayan de Oro last Saturday) that may have prevented the Batang Pier from preparing well.

“Globalport is coming off a road trip and they didn’t have a good preparation. We, on the other hand, had five days to prepare for them. Kaya malaking bagay din yun,” said Austria.

With the win, San Miguel joined Alaska on top with similar 7-1 win-loss cards.

SMB has three games left to play and Austria likes his team’s chances of making the playoffs since they will face Meralco (4-4) on Friday, Talk ’N Text (5-3) on Dec. 5 and expansion team Blackwater (0-8) on Dec. 9.

Globalport, which fell to 4-5 as it suffered its second straight loss, shot a total 103 attempts from the field – a season high – but made just 30 (29%). The Batang Pier are averaging 80.5 attempts from the field this conference which is second to Meralco’s 80.8 shots per game.

Meanwhile, boxing champion Manny Pacquiao is expected to suit up when his Kia Sorento take on Grand Slam champion Purefoods Star today at the Ynares Center in Antipolo City.

In the second game, guard Paul Lee scored a personal conference-high 27 points, including eight in the final 1 minute 32 seconds to help Rain or Shine extend its win streak to four with a 95-93 victory over newcomer NLEX.

SAN MIGUEL 95 – Santos 19, Fajardo 17, Ross 12, Tubid 12, Lutz 10, Fortuna 10, Pascual 8, Mercado 3, Maierhofer 2, Kramer 2, Lassiter 0, Omolon 0, Semerad 0, Chua 0.

GLOBALPORT 69 – Isip 12, Pringle 11, Jensen 11, Cabagnot 10, Romeo 7, Baclao 6, De Ocampo 6, Pinto 2, Caperal 2, Buenafe 2, Semerad 0, Taha 0, Ponferada 0, Nabong 0.

Quarters: 21-17, 56-29, 77-52, 95-69.