San Miguel and Rain or Shine nab second straight wins to improve playoff standing

The San Miguel Beermen vault into the quarterfinals picture with their latest win over the Phoenix Fuel Masters. The Beermen dominated the Fuel Masters, 128-108, for their second straight win. San Miguel is now in seventh place with a 4-5 record leapfrogging the Fuel Masters who are in eighth with a 4-6 slate.

Chris McCullough built on a strong start with another solid game. He led San Miguel with 37 points and 13 rebounds. June Mar Fajardo asserted his presence in the paint with 22 points and 14 rebounds. Alex Cabagnot added 16 points and two treys. Matthew Wright and Rey Guevarra each had 14 to lead Phoenix.

San Miguel showcased their offensive dominance all throughout the game. They scored 30 or more points in all four quarters, outscoring Phoenix in the first three quarters to build a massive lead. They shot a clean 47% from the field and hit 13 triples in the game. San Miguel also assisted on 30 of their 43 made field goals to further highlight their offensive superiority in the game.

The Beermen went to McCullough and Fajardo in the paint early and often in the game. Behind the dominance of the two in the paint, San Miguel was able to build a nine-point lead in the first period and a 16-point advantage heading into the half.

Fajardo and McCullough continued their onslaught in the third period. The two combined for 24 of the first 26 points of the Beermen in the third. The lead ballooned to 27 points, as San Miguel was in control of the game all the way to the end.

In the first game, the Rain or Shine Elasto Painters got their first win after the injury of Denzel Bowles. They took down the Magnolia Hotshots, 86-82 to earn their second straight win. Rain or Shine rises to fifth place with a 5-5 record. The Hotshots drop to sixth with a similar 5-5 record.

New import Carl Montgomery had a good first outing for the Elasto Painters. He scored 20 points and grabbed 12 boards to help his team win. Beau Belga led Rain or Shine with 22 points on 57% shooting. James Farr put up a 19-23 double-double in the loss.

The Hotshots, looking to bounce back from back-to-back losses took control of the game in the first half. They were able to build a 12-point lead midway through the second period before settling for a six-point lead heading to the half.

They just couldn’t hold off the Elasto Painters in the third period. Belga, Montgomery and Ed Daquioag traded baskets with the Hotshots early in the quarter, and eventually took over the lead with back-to-back triples by Montgomery. Rain or Shine took a three-point lead heading into the final period.

The Elasto Painters had the momentum in the final period. Javee Mocon powered an 11-0 run with seven straight points to give Rain or Shine breathing room midway through the quarter. From there, Belga and Daquioag were able to stave off the Magnolia rallies to hold on to the win.