MANILA – San Miguel escaped from a late surge from Meralco for a 113-108 win in their PBA Commissioner's Cup battle on Friday at the PhilSports Arena in Pasig.
While the game had no more significance about their chances of making the quarterfinals, the Beermen somehow got a morale-boosting victory against the also-ran Bolts ahead of their best-of-three showdown against the Converge FiberXers.
"You definitely want to win the game the way we had," said Devon Scott, who put up 32 points on 11-for-15 field goals, 12 rebounds, two assists, and one steal for SMB.
"I think we showed a lot of grit and focus down the stretch even though we let the lead go down."
SMB erupted for 70 first-half points, 42 in the second quarter, and built a lead as high as 26 points.
The Bolts tried to fight back and came to as close as three points, but Devon Scott made two free throws to finally ice the game for the Beermen.
Marcio Lassiter added 13 points on 5-of-7 shooting including 3-for-4 on threes, the last one moving him past former teammate Arwind Santos for seventh in the all-time three-pointer list, and one rebound, while Terrence Romeo made a solid season debut with 12 points, one assist, and one steal off the bench as SMB finished the elimination round at 7-5.
KJ McDaniels led Meralco, who fell to 4-8 to end their campaign in the mid-season tournament, with 27 points, eight rebounds, four assists, two steals, and three blocks.
Aaron Black chipped in 21 points, five rebounds, and four assists, while Toto Jose had a career-high 17 rebounds alongside 16 points, one assist, and one steal off the bench.
SAN MIGUEL 113 – Scott 32, Lassiter 13, Romeo 12, Cruz 10, Perez 10, Fajardo 9, Enciso 8, Manuel 7, Tautuaa 6, Brondial 4, Zamar 2, Ross 0, Herndon 0
MERALCO 108 – McDaniel 27, Black 21, Jose 16, Quinto 15, Caram 9, Maliksi 7, Pasaol 4, Belo 4, Hugnatan 3, Hodge 2, Pascual 0, Baclao 0, Johnson 0
QUARTERS: 28-21, 70-50, 94-73, 113-108 (PNA)