Stanley Pringle’s fastbreak layup attempt late in the payoff period, Charles Rhodes approached the GlobalPort shooting guard and added insult to injury by doing his trademark celebratory gesture right in his victim’s face.
That summed up the swagger San Miguel Beer showed against GlobalPort on Friday as it rolled to 112-101 victory to clinch a twice-to-beat advantage in the quarterfinals of the PBA Commissioner’s Cup.
The Beermen put up a great start and a strong finishing kick as they avoided complications that would’ve seen them drop to as low as fourth spot in a best-of-three series.
Rhodes registered 34 points and five boards to lead the Beermen, who wound up with their ninth win in 11 games to head into the postseason brimming with confidence, while snapping the Batang Pier’s win run at two games to finish the eliminations at 4-7, a record that’s still puts them in contention.
June Mar Fajardo added 15 points, eight boards, and three assists in 27 minutes off the bench, while Alex Cabagnot chipped in a double-double of 13 points and 10 boards on top of two assists.
Justin Harper led the Batang Pier with 25 points and 12 rebounds, while Terrence Romeo and Pringle added 21 points apiece in a losing cause.
The Final Scoreboard Result:
SMB 112 – Rhodes 34, Ross 17, Fajardo 15, Cabagnot 13, Lassiter 13, Santos 13, Reyes 4, Tubid 3, Heruela 0, Espinas 0
GLOBALPORT 101 – Harper 25, Pringle 21, Romeo 21, Guinto 11, Anthony 9, Pessumal 5, Cortez 4, Ababou 3, Grey 2, Forrester 0, Pennisi 0, Maierhofer 0, Mamaril 0, Paredes 0
Quarterscores: 32-21, 51-46, 77-72, 112