|Mo Tautuaa played his best game so far as a Beerman. PBA Media Bureau|
By Drew Malihan
MANILA - The San Miguel Beermen etched their first win inside the “bubble” after escaping a struggling TerraFirma Dyip side, 105-98, in the 2020 Honda PBA Philippine Cup at the Angeles University Foundation Gym.
Moala Tautuaa filled the void left by superstar center June Mar Fajardo as he led the Beermen with his 25-point output, shooting 8-of-11 from the field, while grabbing six rebounds, three assists, and a block.
It was SMB’s second win of the conference, which saw them lose not just Fajardo in the preseason but also all-star guard Terrence Romeo, who suffered a dislocated shoulder against the TNT Tropang Giga.
Other SMB players filled Romeo’s role as sharpshooter Von Pessumal shot 5-of-9 from three for 17 points, while rarely-used Paul Zamar started the game, ending up with 11 points, four boards, and three dimes.
Both sides engaged in a close affair up to the end when SMB began to pull away midway in the fourth, leading by as much as 11 before TerraFirma started to close the gap but to no avail.
The Dyip, meanwhile, slipped further to a 0-3 record despite CJ Perez’ usual game of 20 points, nine rebounds, and six assists along with two steals.
TerraFirma shot 42 percent as a team including 12-of-37 from three, mostly coming from Rashawn McCarthy who tallied 15 points as the team’s second leading scorer.
San Miguel will meet Alaska on Saturday while TerraFirma will look for their first win of the season against NorthPort on the same day.
San Miguel 105 – Tautuaa 25, Santos 20, Lassiter 18, Pessumal 17, Zamar 11, Cabagnot 8, Alolino 2, Ross 2, Gamalinda 2, Escoto 0.
Terrafirma 98 – Perez 20, McCarthy 15, Tiongson 11, Adams 9, Ramos 9, Celda 9, Khobuntin 7, Cahilig 6, Faundo 5, Gabayni 5, Camson 2, Calvo 0, Agovida 0, Balagasay 0.
Quarters: 32-24; 55-51; 75-73; 105-98.
Follow him on Twitter: @drewmalihan