MANILA, Philippines—San Miguel notched its second straight win after holding off Barangay Ginebra, 111-102, in the 2021 PBA Philippine Cup Friday at DHVSU Gymn in Bacolor, Pampanga.
After taking the lead for most of the contest, the Beermen leaned on Terrence Romeo’s heroics down the stretch to fend off a last-ditch attempt from the Gin Kings.
Romeo unfurled a six-point swing to push San Miguel’s lead back to 106-97 with 1:45 to play after Ginebra managed to get as close as three.
The Beermen improved to a 5-2 record after the back-to-back wins over league heavyweights to tie Meralco at the second spot. They gave TNT its first loss, 83-76, in their last game.
“Since the start of this semi-bubble we’re really preparing for the big games especially these last two where we had TNT and Ginebra,” said Austria. “Our loss to Terrafirma served as a wake-up call because now we had to face TNT, who was undefeated, and Ginebra, who’s catching up.”
“We’re so lucky because the team is really solid, in practice they’re working hard and they know what’s at stake at this tournament.”
— PBA (@pbaconnect) September 10, 2021
While the matchup was between the league’s two most storied franchises, the game itself was anticlimactic for the most part.
San Miguel started to create distance as early as the first quarter with a 28-20 lead off of Marcio Lassiter’s three-pointer.
The Beermen then took a 19-point lead, 44-25, the biggest of the game, after a 16-3 run capped off by a triply from CJ Perez early in the second quarter and never looked back.
Romeo finished with a game-high 29 points with six assists and two steals to lead the Beermen as he became the 44th player in league history, and 13th among active ones, to reach 500 made three-pointers.
June Mar Fajardo pitched in a bare minimum of a double-double of 10 points and 10 rebounds for San Miguel while Marcio Lassiter had 19 points on 5-of-8 shooting from deep.
LA Tenorio led Ginebra, who slid to a 3-4 card, with 19 points and 11 assists as he also took his place in the record books after he overtook Olsen Racela for 10th in the all-time assists chart with a total of 3,090 dimes.
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