Beermen outclass Meralco in final PBA game of 2016
Paul Lintag on Dec 28, 2016 09:32 PM
Alex Cabagnot and the rest of the Beermen end 2016 as the number 1 team in the Philippine Cup.
It won't show as much in the final score but two-time defending champion San Miguel absolutely dominated Meralco in the final PBA game of 2016.
The Beermen rode a powerful first half showing to beat the Bolts in the Philippine Cup, 101-86, Wednesday at the Cuneta Astrodome, solidifying their status as the class of the All-Filipino conference.
San Miguel was so in control in the game's opening moments that the champs first-quarter output would have outscored Meralco's score at the break.
Granted, the Bolts did make a run in the second half, cutting the deficit to nine late in the fourth quarter but the Beermen's 31-point lead was too much to overcome.
San Miguel ends the year at first place, a full game ahead of its closest rivals with a 5-1 mark while Meralco has stumbled to three straight defeats for a 2-4 record.
"Tha game we showed tonight was the game na we wanted to have. After the game against NLEX (last Dec. 17), I told them [Beermen] na we have to be consistent. If we will be consistent doing these kinds of games, maganda ang magiging result," head coach Leo Austria said.
Five Beermen scored in double figures led by Marcio Lassiter who finished with 21 on just a shade under 35 minutes. However, it was Alex Cabagnot who was arguably San Miguel's best player on the floor as the veteran point guard wound up with 20 points and six rebounds.
However, Cabagnot's night ended early after he suffered a broken nose in the third quarter after getting a handful from Meralco's Cliff Hodge.
Meanwhile, Chris Ross submitted an all-around brilliant performance with 18 points, three rebounds, five assists, and six steals and June Mar Fajardo added a 11-point, 14-rebound double-double for the champs.
Chris Newsome was the high man for Meralco with 16 points but the reigning Rookie of the Year struggled for only 30 percent shooting from the field.
San Miguel broke the game open in the first quarter as Cabagnot led a 17-0 run to post a 22-6 lead. The Beermen basically put the game on ice at the break with a 31-point lead, 58-27.
However, Newsome kept Meralco kicking in the third quarter, scoring 13 of Meralco's 36 points to make the game manageable heading into the fourth.
SAN MIGUEL 101 - Lassiter 21, Cabagnot 20, Ross 18, Fajardo 11, Tubid 10, Santos 9, De Ocampo 4, Agovida 3, Garcia 2, Heruela 2, Espinas 1.
MERALCO 86 - Newsome 16, Yeo 12, Amer 12, Nabong 9, Hodge 7, Hugnatan 6, Uyloan 6, Caram 6, Bono 6, Daquioag 2, Faundo 2, Al-Hussaini 2, Grey 0.
Quarterscores: 32-13, 58-27, 79-63, 101-86
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