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Santos drops 31 on GlobalPort as SMB locks in top seed


By Ivan Saldajeno

MANILA--Arwind Santos flashed his vintage self on Saturday night as San Miguel secured the first seed in the PBA Philippine Cup quarterfinals with a 106-100 victory over GlobalPort in a vital elimination round match-up at the Hoops Dome in Lapu-Lapu City.

The six-foot-four forward somehow stole the show from his fellow Beerman Junemar Fajardo in his homecoming to his native province of Cebu as the PampagueƱo made a season-high 31 points, 10 rebounds, and two assists to lead them to their ninth win of the conference, enough to seal the top spot at the end of the preliminaries even if they lose their final game against the TNT KaTropa next Saturday.

SMB took control of the game late after an 8-2 run broke an 87-all tie and gave the team a 95-89 lead with 4:22 remaining in the fourth quarter.

GlobalPort would crawl to within two twice within the last three minutes of the game, but five straight points, the last four coming from Santos, sealed the fate of both squads.

Fajardo still gave the Cebuanos something to be happy about aside from the Beermen as he contributed 19 points, 15 rebounds, two assists, and two blocks even as Marcio Lassiter chipped in 22 points, six rebounds, and three assists.

Stanley Pringle tallied 21 points, six caroms, and two dimes, while Terrence Romeo came close to a double-double of his own with 16 markers and nine dishes along with three boards and one steal for the Batang Pier, who fell to a five-way tie for second place at 5-4.

Two of the teams in the deadlock, however, has a huge chance to move up to solo second by Sunday night as Ginebra and Phoenix will lock horns in the main game of the doubleheader at the PhilSports Arena in Pasig.

Box Scores:

San Miguel 106-Santos 31, Lassiter 22, Fajardo 19, Heruela 10, Garcia 8, Tubid 8, Espinas 5, Ross 2, De Ocampo 1, McCarthy 0

GlobalPort 100-Pringle 21, Romeo 16, Canaleta 14, Cortez 11, Aban 10, Quinahan 9, Pessumal 8, Mamaril 6, Urbiztondo 3, Andrada 2, Maierhofer 0

Quarterscores: 22-21, 51-50, 81-81, 106-100

Follow him on Twitter: @IvanSaldajeno