|Arwind Santos exploded for the Beermen. PBA Media Group|
By Ivan Saldajeno
QUEZON CITY—Many fans anticipated a close showdown as the Magnolia Hotshots faced off with the San Miguel Beermen for the first time in the PBA Philippine Cup since their finals showdown last conference.
A blowout ensued instead.
San Miguel Beer blew past Magnolia, 113-92, on Sunday night at the Smart Araneta Coliseum.
The Beermen erupted early on as they started the game with 10 unanswered points within the first three minutes.
Kyle Pascual finally put the Hotshots on the board with a layup, but the Beermen put up another 8-0 blast to stretch their lead to 16, 18-2, with a little over five minutes left in the first.
SMB eventually held a 28-12 advantage at the end of the first period.
The defending champion even stretched its lead to 23 points, 37-14, come the second quarter, but the reigning Governors’ Cup holder sizzled later in the period and was suddenly within seven, 42-49, with 25 seconds left before halftime.
June Mar Fajardo stopped the bleeding with a jump hook in the final play of the half as the Beermen went to halftime up by nine.
They eventually kept the Hotshots at bay in the second half and even stretched their lead to as high as 24 before settling for the 21-point win.
Arwind Santos buried 29 points on 11-of-17 shooting with four rebounds, two assists, and one block for SMB, which moved up to solo fourth place at 4-3.
Terrence Romeo had his best game as a Beerman, putting up 23 points on 8-of-10 shooting with one rebound, three assists, and two steals.
Fajardo added 22 points, eight boards, three dimes, and one block.
Overall, SMB shot 51.9 percent from the field including an impressive 18-of-34 clip from beyond the arc.
“Wala akong masabi sa mga players ko. They were so focused and maybe they know the importance of this game because Magnolia is really a tough team,” said Head Coach Leo Austria.
Ian Sangalang scored 19 markers, five boards, one dime, two blocks, and four steals for the Chito Victolero-mentored Magnolia squad, which fell to 0-2.
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