The Beermen soar to a 4-0 record in the 2017 PBA Commissioner’s Cup, after leading by as many as 34 points
LEADER. Alex Cabagnot leads San Miguel past Mahindra. Photo from PBA Images
MANILA, Philippines – Coach Manny Pacquiao, wearing a suit, made another rare appearance along the sidelines for Mahindra Floodbuster but it was hardly enough to stop the surging San Miguel Beermen from manhandling his team, 109-80, on Wednesday, April 19, at the Cuneta Astrodome.
The Beermen soared to a 4-0 record in the 2017 PBA Commissioner’s Cup, after leading by as many as 34 points.
San Miguel finished the game in 3 quarters, establishing an insurmountable double-digit lead. Coach Leo Austria pulled out his starters early in the fourth period, allowing extended minutes for his bench.
Guard Alex Cabagnot drained 4 of his 7 3-point attempts for a game-high 26 points plus 8 rebounds and 4 assists. He also set the aggressive tone for the match early on, which allowed San Miguel to seize control right away.
Import Charles Rhodes posted 20 points, 18 rebounds, 4 assists, and 3 blocks, while Marcio Lassiter scored all 18 of his points from 6-of-10 shooting from beyond the arc.
Gabby Espinas chipped in 12 markers as the red-hot Beermen royally outclassed the Floodbuster on the boards, 72-57, and made it rain from downtown with 15-of-38 3-pointers. By contrast, Mahindra was a miserable 3-of-30.
San Miguel’s biggest problem proved to be its 21 turnovers but Mahindra failed to capitalize, converting only 13 points off of those.
In an interesting turn of events, the Beermen also took care of the Floodbuster with reigning 3-time MVP June Mar Fajardo going scoreless for the first time in 4 years.
Fajardo played only over 8 minutes and missed all 4 field goal attempts. He tallied one turnover and was effectively outscored by reserve center Arnold Van Opstal, who played through half of the fourth for 4 points and 5 rebounds.
“June Mar kailangan namin i-rest, medyo bugbog siya. Alam naman natin the past few conferences ay talagang bugbog siya. Ngayon nagkaroon siya ng opportunity na magpahinga,” Austria explained.
(We needed to rest June Mar, he’s been banged up. We know in the past few conferences he’s really been heavily used. Now he had the opportunity to rest.)
“He’s been practicing with us and with Gilas so we want to prepare him for bigger games, especially dito sa SEABA (Championships), kailangan paghandaan niya. Kanina medyo he’s not feeling well so pinahinga na lang namin siya. Marami naman nag-step up.”
(He’s been practicing with us and with Gilas so we want to prepare him for bigger games, especially in the SEABA, he needs to prepare for that. Earlier he was not feeling well so we let him rest. Others stepped up.)
Reinforcement Kevin Wright topscored for Mahindra with 16 points and he tracked down 12 boards, as Reden Celda and Gary David combined for 26 points.
Jackson Corpuz added 10 points as Mahindra remained unable to score a second win with its 1-6 slate so far.
San Miguel (109): Cabagnot 26, Rhodes 20, Lassiter 18, Espinas 12, McCarthy 7, Reyes 6, Tubid 6, Santos 4, Van Opstal 4, Ross 2, Heruela 2, Agovida 2, Fajardo 0, Semerad 0, De Ocampo 0.
Mahindra (80): Wright 16, Celda 13, David 13, Corpuz 10, Revilla 7, Yee 7, Deutchman 6, Salva 4, Guevarra 2, Caperal 2, Paniamogan 0, Galanza 0, Teng 0, Ballesteros 0.
Quarter scores: 32-16, 55-31, 86-59, 109-80.