San Miguel Beer set up a PBA Philippine Cup semifinal showdown against Talk ‘N Text with a 100-95 win over NorthPort in Game 2 of their quarterfinal series at the Don Honorio Ventura State University Gym in Bacolor, Pampanga on Thursday.
Despite a slow start that even saw the Batang Pier take a 19-17 lead at the end of the first quarter, the Beermen took over in the second quarter and would even mount a lead as high as 13 points in the second half.
NorthPort tried to claw back into the game, even cutting the lead down to four, 97-93, with 34 seconds left, but SMB held on through clutch free throws from Chris Ross and Marcio Lassiter.
CJ Perez made 21 points on 6-for-12 shooting, four rebounds, two assists, two steals, and two blocks off the bench to lead the Beermen, who had seven players in double figures scoring-wise.
Mo Tautuaa added 17 points, four rebounds, three assists, and one steal off the bench as well, while June Mar Fajardo (12 points and 12 rebounds) and Arwind Santos (13 rebounds and 11 points) each collected a double-double.
Greg Slaughter put up 27 points on 12-of-22 field goals, 12 rebounds, and three blocks for the Batang Pier.
Robert Bolick came close to a triple-double with 14 dimes, 12 points for the double-double, and eight boards, but he went 0-for-8 from beyond the arc and committed six turnovers in total. PNA