San Miguel displayed poise in the endgame and survived a hard-fighting Alaska squad, 92-88, Saturday in the 2020 PBA Philippine Cup restart at the Angeles University Foundation Sports Arena and Cultural Center in Angeles City, Pampanga.
Veteran playmaker Alex Cabagnot fired 19 points as the Beermen registered their first back-to-back wins of the season to improve to 3-2 which is good for a tie with idle Meralco and Phoenix Super LPG for 4th to 6th place in the team standings.
San Miguel head coach Leo Austria credited his veterans for the defending champs’ second win inside the PBA bubble.
“I give credit to the veterans. They stepped up really big. I felt the sense of urgency in them. Everybody’s so focused. We didn’t lose our composure. We’re so happy for them because this stage is very crucial for us. At 2-2 we cannot afford to lose,” said Austria.
The fact that the Beermen had ample time to rest after their victory over the Terra Firma Dyip was a considerable factor against the Aces who played their third game in five days.
“We had a four-day break after our last game and this was Alaska’s third game in five days. I think that’s one of the factors,” added the 8-time PBA champion mentor.
Arwind Santos delivered another solid performance as the 2013 PBA MVP finished with a double-double of 17 points and 10 boards to go along with 3 blocks. Marcio Lassiter had a horrible shooting night but still wound up with 13 markers on the strength of a 9-of-9 shooting from the 15-foot line.
Mo Tautuaa contributed 16 points, 6 boards and 6 assists but also had a team-high 6 turnovers. Chris Ross and Von Pessumal chipped in 10 and 8 markers, respectively.
The Beermen’s next game is on Wednesday, October 28 against the Bolts who are also on a 2-game win streak.