Philippine Daily Inquirer
No stopping San Miguel
Unbeaten Beermen handle Elasto Painters with ease
Five games into their PBA Commissioner’s Cup campaign, the San Miguel Beermen remain to be a formidable puzzle far from being solved by anyone.
Too good, too strong and too cohesive, the Beermen bamboozled powerhouse Rain or Shine in a Petron Saturday Special schedule, 111-98 at Mall of Asia Arena in Pasay to remain undefeated and inch closer to a berth in the quarterfinals.
Import Charles Rhodes fired 26 points and led the entire starting unit of San Miguel in finishing in twin digits as the Beermen ripped another formidable enemy going into the All-Star break.
“It was not that easy to get win No. 5,” coach Leo Austria said as he tried to deflect the ease with which the Beermen carved out the win. “We just hope to continue [this streak].”
San Miguel took control right in the first half and then made it an ugly ending for the Elasto Painters in the fourth as Rhodes scored 14 of his total there with Marcio Lassiter hitting a triple with nine-tenths of a seconds left for the final count.
Gabby Espinas came off the bench to shoot 15 points and earn Player of the Game honors, standing out as the best role player for the night for Austria.
“We’re just having fun,” Espinas said as he helped deal the Elasto Painters a third defeat in seven outings.
Meanwhile, Star snapped a two-game losing streak after churning out a solid fourth quarter to turn back Blackwater, 96-90, in the curtain-raiser.
It was the fifth win in seven games for the Hotshots, who went on an alarming tailspin after four straight wins but are now gamely back in the thick of the fight for a slot in the top two.
“We needed this win going into the All-Star break,” coach Chito Victolero said.