SMB ousts NorthPort from playoff race with third straight win

Kevin Murphy had another solid game for the Beermen. Dennis Acosta
By Ivan Saldajeno

PASAY--San Miguel shut the door on NorthPort's hopes to crack into the PBA Governors' Cup quarterfinals with a 114-107 victory at the Cuneta Astrodome on Wednesday night.

The Beermen withstood a late run from the Batang Pier to score their third straight win and inch closer to a playoff spot with two matches left in their schedule.

SMB held a 91-79 advantage just as the fourth quarter started.

But NorthPort went on a 15-3 run to force a 94-all deadlock with 7:05 left.

After both sides went on a short-lived exchange of baskets, the Beermen scored eight straight points sparked by back-to-back triples from Kevin Murphy and Chris Ross to take a 105-97 lead with 5:14 to go.

The Batang Pier still had one final push, going on a 10-3 rally to cut the lead down to one, 108-107, with 1:46 left, but the Beermen scored the last six points of the match to seal the win.

Kevin Murphy made 27 points, four rebounds, seven assists, one steal, and one block for SMB, which moved up to 5-4.

Chris Standhardinger added 21 markers, 22 boards, one assist, and one steal.

Sean Anthony made 24 markers, five caroms, four dimes, and one swipe for the now also-ran NorthPort, which fell to 2-8.

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