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PBA: SMB opens grand slam bid with win vs ROS

Jericho Cruz paced an unusual second unit for San Miguel to open its PBA Philippine Cup title defense. PBA Images
By Ivan Saldajeno

MAKATI—San Miguel began its quest to complete a rare two-conference PBA grand slam on a high note by taking down Rain Or Shine, 109-97, in their PBA Philippine Cup game on Friday night at the Smart Araneta Coliseum in Quezon City.

The Beermen, also the defending champions of the all-Filipino tournament, slowly pulled away from the struggling Elasto Painters in the second and third quarters, outscoring them, 67-51, to open a 91-73 advantage entering the fourth.

Jericho Cruz led SMB with 20 points, four rebounds, and one steal off the bench, while Marcio Lassiter paced an unusual starting unit with 17 points on 5-of-6 shooting from beyond the arc, four rebounds, one assist, and one steal.

In a rare moment, June Mar Fajardo came off the bench, but he still contributed decent numbers of 15 points, 10 rebounds, one assist, two blocks, and one steal.

Santi Santillan's 31-point blast behind 10-of-15 shooting with 14 rebounds and one assist went down the drain as ROS dropped to 0-4.

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