San Mig wins second straight vs. Purefoods

San Mig wins second straight vs. Purefoods
Updated 26 October 2014

San Mig wins second straight vs. Purefoods

San Mig wins second straight vs. Purefoods

MANILA: San Miguel Beer coach Leo Austria likes what he sees in his Beermen thus far and knows that, from now on, they will be playing with the proverbial bullseye on their backs.
The Beermen brought down a second straight title-contender in defending champion Purefoods, 87-80, after getting 22 points and 15 rebounds from cornerstone June Mar Fajardo in the PBA Philippine Cup eliminations at the Araneta Coliseum.
Ronald Tubid scored eight of his 16 points in the fourth as San Miguel led by as large as 19 points in the third before finding little difficulty in putting the short-handed Star Hotshots away in the stretch.
Purefoods, which won this tournament last year despite starting with a 0-3 record, lost a second straight game. The Hotshots, who were known as the San Mig Coffee Mixers when they completed a Triple Crown sweep last season, played without three vital cogs, which helped their latest defeat.
Marc Pingris, who is still recovering from a bruised rib suffered while playing two international tournaments for Gilas Pilipinas, sophomore center Ian Sangalang and former two-time MVP James Yap were all out of commission for the Hotshots.
Sangalang will be out for at least five months after tearing an ACL in a 73-93 loss to the Alaska Aces last week, while Yap is being bothered by a sore calf muscle and was not utilized despite suiting up.
The absence of the 6-foot-7 Sangalang and the banger Pingris made life a little easier for Fajardo, who scored almost at will inside before Tubid chipped in his share in the fourth period that kept the Hotshots at bay.
Chris Lutz scored the last three points for the Beermen to put the game away, finishing with nine points with Arwind Santos shooting 14 and Sol Mercado finishing with 12 points.
San Miguel had earlier downed Rain or Shine impressively, making Austria conclude that the road will get bumpier from here on end.
“It’s a good win for us, we beat two finalists (in our first two games),” Austria said. “With these two victories, the other teams will now be coming after us and preparing even harder when they play us.
“This is an indication that our team is on the right track,” Austria added. “But we still plan to keep on improving. This win gives our morale a boost in the race for an outright Final Four slot and a twice-to-beat privilege.”
Meanwhile, Alex Cabagnot fired 21 points and rookie Stanley Pringle chipped in with 19 as Globalport barged into the win column after a 91-81 tripping of Barako Bull.
The win was the first in two games for the Batang Pier, whose coach, Pido Jarencio, has been placed under the microscope by team owner Mikee Romero after a sorry season-opening loss to the NLEX Road Warriors last week.
“Yes, he (Jarencio) is under assessment,” Romero told reporters on his way to his car.
Romero, a former college player with La Salle in the UAAP who is not used to losing, admitted that had the Batang Pier lost against the Energy, the demise of Jarencio would have been imminent.
But he denied that he had talked with former Air21 coach Franz Pumaren last Thursday on the possibility of taking over the team.
“If we will do that, we will come up with a list (of candidates) first,” Romero said.
The loss was the second straight for the Energy, who are playing under new coach Koy Banal for just over a week after Siot Tanquingcen was unceremoniously fired a day before last Sunday’s blockbuster opening at the Philippine Arena in Bulacan.
Denok Miranda fired 16 points and three others contributed 10 or better for Banal.

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