San Miguel Beer nails No. 1 ranking

San Miguel Beer nails No. 1 ranking

Playing steadier in the clutch, Meralco secured the last twice-to-beat privilege in the PBA Philippine Cup playoffs after upending Globalport, 82-70, as the elimination round topped by San Miguel Beer came to a close last night at Cuneta Astrodome in Pasay.

The Bolts made the baskets they needed to fend off the hard-fighting Batang Pier in the stretch and finish sixth after the classification round with a 6-5 record.

Meralco thus drew defending champion Purefoods in the first phase of the quarterfinals starting tomorrow, needing to beat the Star Hotshots just once to make the second phase.

The final score didn't reflect the great struggle that took place on the floor for both teams, with Meralco just playing a tad better offensively in the fourth period to gut out the win.

"A 'twice-to-beat' is really good for us because we're facing Purefoods and we need any advantage we can get," Meralco coach Norman Black said.

The Beermen routed Blackwater as expected, 91-62, to clinch the top seeding even as the Hotshots take a winning feeling into the playoffs after scuttling Barako Bull, 99-83.

Sean Anthony scored 16 points, Cliff Hodge added 15 and Gary David 13 for the Bolts, who could arrange a knockout match for a semifinal seat against either No. 3 Alaska or No. 10 NLEX if they defeat Purefoods.

Fourth seed Talk 'N Text battles Barako Bull and Barangay Ginebra takes on Globalport tomorrow at Ynares Center in Antipolo with the Tropang Texters and the Gin Kings needing to beat their respective foes just once to advance.

San Miguel and Rain or Shine advanced outright to the Final Four, getting a break of at least nine days before playing its next foe.

The Painters got the first outright semifinal slot on Sunday when they walloped Barangay Ginebra, 100-90.

The scores:

First Game

PUREFOODS 99-Pingris 20, Simon 16, Devance 12, Barroca 10, Yap 9, Taha 8, Mallari 5, Maliksi 5, Reavis 4, Gaco 4, Pennisi 3, Melton 3, Alvarez 0, Allado 0.

BARAKO 83-Intal 20, Garcia 14, Miranda 14, Lastimosa 8, Marcelo 7, Holstein 4, Salvador 4, Pascual 4, Wilson 2, Matias 1, Hubalde 0, Paredes 0.

Quarters: 27-23, 52-38, 75-67, 99-83

Second Game

SAN MIGUEL BEER 91-Tubid 18, Mercado 15, Fajardo 14, Lassiter 9, Santos 9, Pascual 6, Lutz 5, Chua 4, Maierhofer 2, Ross 2, Fortuna 2, Omolon 2, Semerad 2, Kramer 1.

BLACKWATER 62-Laure 10, Nuyles 9, Faundo 8, Tiongson 7, Timberlake 6, Austria 5, Erram 4, Acuna 4, Celiz 3, Ballesteros 3, Gamalinda 3, Artadi 0.

Quarters: 19-13, 50-31, 70-45, 91-62

Third Game

MERALCO 82-Anthony 16, Hodge 15, Wilson 13, David 13, Cortez 10, Dillinger 8, Hugnatan 4, Buenafe 3, Ferriols 0, Ildefonso 0, Sena 0, Craam 0, Guevarra 0, Macapagal 0.

GLOBALPORT 70-Pringle 19, Cabagnot 18, Romeo 9, Caperal 6, Jensen 6, Buenafe 5, Taha 3, Semerad 2, Isip 2, Pinto 0, Ponferada 0, Baclao 0, De Ocampo 0.

Quarters: 17-15, 35-32, 58-56, 82-70

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