San Miguel Beer's Arwind Santos maneouvers past the NLEX defense of Cyrus Baguio and Mike Miranda, Friday at the the Cuenta Astrodome. The Beermen won, 109-98. | PBA Media

Beermen prevail over slumping Road Warriors
Denison Rey A. Dalupang ( - January 19, 2018 - 9:03pm

MANILA, Philippines — San Miguel Beer flipped the switch late in the fourth period to turn back a tough-as-nails NLEX side, 109-98, in a shooting affair filled with bumping and jawing Friday night at the Cuneta Astrodome.

Arwind Santos and reigning league Most Valuable Player June Mar Fajardo scored 26 and 25 points, respectively, to help the Beermen pull away late in the game.

Alex Cabagnot and Marcio Lassiter tallied 14 points each to fill the void left by the low-scoring Chris Ross, who late in the game was thrown out of the game after figuring in a verbal joust with tough-talking NLEX mentor Yeng Guiao.

"My players, they refused to lose,” Beermen head coach Leo Austria said. "Because of their pride and experience, they prevailed."

Five Road Warriors registered double-digit scoring with rookie Kiefer Ravena leading with 15 points. Rafael Soyud, JR Quiñahan and Alex Mallari each chimed in 12 markers to keep San Miguel within reach.

But Santos, the reigning Philippine Cup champions’ skipper, was just too much for the slumping Road Warriors.
"The last time we lost in this venue, it was against NLEX,” Austria noted. "I know NLEX will come out really, really hard because they’re [2-2] in the standings and below .500 in the eliminations. Medyo mahirap ‘yun,” 

“But we prevailed,” the three-time Coach of the Year closed.

The Beermen remain unscathed in the all-Filipino skirmish while the Road Warriors drop to 2-3.

The scores:

SAN MIGUEL 109 — Santos 26, Fajardo 25, Cabagnot 14, Lassiter 14, Pessumal 10, Ganuelas-Rosser 6, De Ocampo 4, Ross 4, Heruela 2, Mamaril 2, Semerad 2.

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

Quarters: 31-24, 49-58, 74-74, 109-98.

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