Beermen book semis ticket via 30-point rout Bossing

San Miguel dominated Blackwater from start to finish and booked a ticket to the semifinal round of the PBA Season 47 Philippine Cup via 30-point rout, 123-93, Wednesday night at the Smart Araneta Coliseum in Quezon City.

The Beermen, who in the first meeting between the two sides were dragged into an extra period and had to rely on clutch free throws by Marcio Lassiter and June Mar Fajardo to seal the victory, celebrated the return to active duty of Chris Ross, Jericho Cruz, Robbie Herndon and coaches Leo Austria and Jorge Gallent by winning with plenty to spare.

Lassiter and CJ Perez contributed 18 markers each to lead a balanced attack which saw seven Beermen score 11 points or more in a dazzling display of firepower in preparation for the All-Filipino Cup playoffs.

“It’s a different situation and we were on top of the standings at that time. This is the quarterfinals. They are well-motivated. They know the glory of winning the quarterfinals to get to the semis,” said Austria during the post-game press conference.

“The assistant coaches kept the players in shape and you saw them playing like a well-oiled machine,” added the 8-time PBA champion mentor.

Cruz chipped in 17 points while Mo Tautuaa and Vic Manuel added 12 markers each. June Mar Fajardo added 11 points and 10 boards while Simon Enciso also had 11 markers.

Ross, who has been sidelined since June 17 due to a knee injury he sustained against Magnolia, was held scoreless in almost 20 minutes of play but nonetheless marked his return with a game-high 12 assists to go with 2 steals and 2 rebounds.

The league’s winningest franchise will take on the winner of the best-of-three quarterfinal series between the Brgy. Ginebra and Meralco with the Bolts up, 1-0, going into Game 2 which is scheduled on Friday, July 29.

The scores:

San Miguel 123 – Lassiter 18, Perez 18, Cruz 17, Tautuaa 12, Manuel 12, Enciso 11, Fajardo 11, Herndon 9, Brondial 6, Pessumal 5, Zamar 4, Ross 0, Canete 0, Faundo 0.

Blackwater 93 – Ular 15, Amer 13, Ebona 12, Sena 11, Ayonayon 11, Suerte 8, Go 8, Casio 5, McCarthy 5, Publico 5, Dyke 2, Escoto 0, Ganuelas-Rosser 0.

Quarterscores: 32-13, 63-39, 94-63, 123-93.

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