San Miguel Beermen showcased its lethal championship form as it blasted the Phoenix Fuel Masters, 100-88, in the Game One of the 2019 PBA Philippine Cup semifinal round at the Mall of Asia Arena Saturday night.
Up by just 49-39 at the half, the Beermen worked their offensive schemes like clockwork and hounded the Fuel Masters on defense to establish an 81-59 lead that went as much as 26 points.
Delivering a strong opening statement, San Miguel thus drew the first blood and took a 1-0 advantage against the top seed and semis first timer Phoenix in the best-of-seven affair.
Leading the pack for the reigning four-time defending champions was Alex Cabagnot who piled up an all-around game with 26 points, seven assists, five rebounds, and three steals. Chris Ross and Marcio Lassiter had 14 markers apiece, while Christian Standhardinger added a double-double of 12 points and 16 boards in the rousing win.
The Fuel Masters, on the other hand, tried executing a comeback in the fourth quarter, cutting the deficit to just 82-89 midway, but SMB just had enough gas left in the tank to survive Phoenix’s gutsy stand.
Matthew Wright paced the losing side with 22 points, seven rebounds, and three assists. Calvin Abueva produced 18 points on 6-of-22 shooting from the field on top of game-high 21 rebounds and five assists.
Game Two of the semifinal series is on Monday, April 15 at the Smart-Araneta Coliseum.
SAN MIGUEL 100 – Cabagnot 26, Ross 14, Lassiter 14, Standhardinger 12, Santos 9, Fajardo 9, Tubid 6, Romeo 5, Pessumal 5, Rosser 0, Nabong 0.
PHOENIX 88 – Wright 22, Abueva 18, Jazul 11, Mallari 11, Revilla 7, Perkins 6, Chua 5, Marcelo 4, Intal 3, Kramer 1, Mendoza 0, Dennison 0.
Quarter scores: 21-27, 49-39, 81-59, 100-88.