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SMB prevails over NLEX in tense clash

Arwind Santos played solid for the Beermen. PBA Media Bureau
By Ivan Saldajeno

PASAY--After emotions flared up in the fourth quarter, San Miguel showed why it is the hottest team right now in the PBA.

The Beermen overcame the tensions down the stretch to turn back the NLEX Road Warriors, 109-98, in their PBA Philippine Cup clash at the Cuneta Astrodome on Friday night.

SMB started the game on a good note, dropping 31 points in the first quarter and taking a seven-point lead at the end of the period.

NLEX, however, outscored SMB, 34-18, in the second quarter to enter halftime ahead, 58-49.

The Beermen then turned up the volume defensively in the third quarter, limiting the Road Warriors to only 16 points, but they had to settle for a 74-all tie at the end of the frame.

Things, however, got chippy in the fourth.

Von Pessumal hardly nudged Kiefer Ravena while Marcio Lassiter was taking a three-pointer early ino the quarter, leading to Pessumal being whistled for the Flagrant Foul Penalty 1.

Moments later, Alex Mallari and Chris Ross exchanged some words after they collided when Mallari was fouled to prevent a fastbreak opportunity. Both players were slapped with technical fouls.

Ross was then kicked to the groin by Mike Miranda after the former fouled the latter during a pick-and-roll sequence. Miranda was merited a Flagrant Foul Penalty 2 and was sent off.

The said incident turned out to have sealed NLEX's fate as SMB pulled away from thereon.

Still, the emotions were there as Ross had another verbal altercation, this time with Coach Yeng Guiao. Both Ross and Guiao were given technical fouls, and Ross was thrown out as well.

The late tensions did not stop Arwind Santos from dominating as he led the Beermen, who are now 4-0, with 26 points, 13 rebounds, four assists, two steals, and two blocks.

Junemar Fajardo also had a stellar game with 25 points, 16 rebounds, two assists, one block, and one steal.

Kiefer Ravena tallied 15 markers, three boards, and six dimes for the Road Warriors, who lost for the third straight game.

Box Scores:

San Miguel 109-Santos 26, Fajardo 25, Cabagnot 14, Lassiter 14, Pessumal 10, Rosser 6, Ross 4, De Ocampo 4, Semerad 2, Heruela 2, Mamaril 2

NLEX 98-Ravena 15, Quinahan 12, Mallari 12, Soyud 12, Miranda 10, Tiongson 8, Fonacier 6, Uyloan 6, Alas 5, Al-Hussaini 5, Taulava 3, Baguio 2, Gotladera 2

Quarterscores: 31-24, 49-58, 74-74, 109-98

Follow him on Twitter: @IvanSaldajeno