San Miguel and Blackwater end respective two-game losing streaks

The San Miguel Beermen brought in a new reinforcement to help with their push for the playoffs. In his first game in the PBA, Chris McCullough came through, leading the Beermen to a 109-105 win over the NLEX Road Warriors. The Beermen stay within striking distance of the quarterfinals spot at ninth place with a 3-5 record. NLEX is still at the bottom of the standings with a 2-8 slate.

McCullough did the heavy lifting for San Miguel scoring 47 points on 56% shooting. He was downright dominant in the game and his teammates fed him the ball for most of the game. Christian Standhardinger helped McCullough out with 12 points on a perfect 6/6 from the field. Olu Ashaolu led NLEX with 31 points.

McCullough came alive in the third period where he led the Beermen as his offense took off. He sparked an 11-0 run that turned a one-point deficit into a 10-point lead. After he scored on a floater, Marcio Lassiter buried three straight triples to push the Beermen lead into double-digits.

McCullough then went on a rampage. He scored 12 straight points midway through the period, drilling three consecutive triples followed by an and-one basket inside to power a 16-0 San Miguel run. When the smoke cleared, the Beermen were up by 25 points. They increased that lead to 28 points heading into the final period.

The Road Warriors tried to make one final run in the fourth period. Ashaolu led the comeback attempt as they scored the final eight points of the game. But the San Miguel lead was too much to overcome.

In the first game, the Blackwater Elite ended their two-game losing skid with a big 104-99 OT win over the Magnolia Hotshots. The Elite not only end the Hotshots’ winning streak but they also secured a spot in the quarterfinals. Blackwater stays in third with a 6-3 record while Magnolia isn’t far behind with a 5-3 tally.

Roi Sumang hit big shots in the extra period to help the Elite outlast the Hotshots. He finished with 19 points from off the bench to lead the team in scoring. Staphon Blair scored 14 points and grabbed 14 rebounds while Mike DiGregorio scored 15 on four triples. Farr led Magnolia with 23 points and 20 rebounds.

The game was tight all the way to the end of regulation. Sumang scored on a layup inside and DiGregorio drilled a triple to give Blackwater a four-point lead. But Farr and Paul Lee hit two free throws each in the final minute of regulation to send to OT.

Sumang opened the extra period with a flurry. After Allein Maliksi and Mark Barroca exchanged triples, he scored on a fade away jumper to give Blackwater the lead. He followed that up with two free throws and three-pointer to give the Elite a seven-point lead. That advantage held up as Parks, DiGregorio and Maliksi all hit baskets to counter the Magnolia run.