Wed. Oct 27th, 2021


San Miguel forward CJ Perez

San Miguel forward CJ Perez. PBA IMAGES

MANILA, Philippines—San Miguel clinched its quarterfinals berth after 110-80 domination of Phoenix in the 2021 PBA Philippine Cup Friday at DHVSU Gym in Bacolor, Pampanga.

The Beermen secured the passage to the second round with a 6-3 record and in the process sent the  Fuel Masters to the brink of elimination with a 4-7 card.

Phoenix, which played its final game of the eliminations, will now hope that defending champion Barangay Ginebra and NorthPort, both of which are at 4-5, have a worse quotient for it to book a place in the playoffs.

After leading 55-47 at the end of the first half, the Beermen pushed harder in the second half and built 85-59 lead heading into the fourth.

Von Pessumal’s three-pointer then capped off a 19-4 run to give San Miguel a 37-point lead, 104-67, with 5:18 to play.

“I’m really surprised with the response but of course I want to give credit to the players because they really went all out,” said Beermen head coach Leo Austria whose team lost 95-93 to Rain or Shine in its previous game.

“The rest of the crew knew the importance of this game because this will take us to the next round. I’m happy because in spite of the roller coaster we were able to come back and win a game when it counts.”

CJ Perez finished with a game-high 24 points with five rebounds and four assists to lead the Beermen, who suffered another injury after point guard Terrence Romeo hurt his right foot in the first half.

Romeo left the game with 1:37 left in the first quarter and was never put back in.

June Mar Fajardo had his 18-point and 11-rebound double-double for San Miguel while Moala Tautuaa and Arwind Santos had 19 and 16 points, respectively.

Jason Perkins had 18 points and nine rebounds to lead the Fuel Masters who stayed at the ninth seed in the table.

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