SMB trumps TNT to solidify hold of top spot

By Ivan Saldajeno

QUEZON CITY--San Miguel moved closer to an outright PBA Philippine Cup semifinal slot after a 97-84 victory over Talk 'n Text at the Smart Araneta Coliseum on Saturday night.

The Beermen opened a double-digit advantage late in the first quarter and quickly weathered the mini-rallies by the Tropang Texters to score their ninth win against a lone loss in the season-opening conference.

Arwind Santos had 30 points on 12-of-20 shooting and 12 rebounds for San Miguel, while Junemar Fajardo added 22 points, 15 rebounds, and five blocks while successfully containing Moala Tautuaa in the paint.

Jayson Castro poured in 20 markers along with five caroms and seven dimes for Talk 'n Text, which fell to 5-4.

The Beermen, which are a game and a half ahead of the Alaska Aces and the Rain Or Shine Elasto Painters at the top of the standings, are now assured a playoff for the second semifinal spot but can take the outright seat plus the top seed with a win in their final elimination round meeting against the Aces on Wednesday night.

Box Scores:

San Miguel 97-Santos 30, Fajardo 22, Cabagnot 21, Lutz 12, Espinas 4, Heruela 3, Tubid 3, De Ocampo 2, Arana 0, Lassiter 0, Ross 0

Talk 'n Text 84-Castro 20, Rosario 17, Tautuaa 14, Williams 12, Reyes 7, Miranda 5, Carey 4, Fonacier 3, Rosser 2, Aban 0

Quarterscores: 29-17, 46-35, 71-61, 97-84

Follow him on Twitter: @IvanSaldajeno