The San Miguel Beermen fought off the Rain or Shine E-Painters, 99-93, to regain the solo lead in the standings of the PBA Season 47 Philippine Cup on Wednesday night at the Smart-Araneta Coliseum.
Six players scored in double-figures for the Beermen led by CJ Perez who had 21 points, five assists, and four rebounds. Marcio Lassiter and Rodney Brondial added 16 markers apiece, while Jericho Cruz added 14.
Simon Enciso chipped in 12 while six-time MVP June Mar Fajardo scored just 10 but added 16 rebounds, seven assists, and three blocks.
San Miguel now holds the best record in the league at 5-1.
It was a hard-earned win for San Miguel which saw Rain or Shine pull to within five, 90-95, after two free-throws from Norbert Torres with 1:19 remaining. However, that proved to be the E-Painters’ last hurrah as Cruz and Brondial answered with consecutive baskets to secure the win for San Miguel.
“This game, a tight game, it could develop a lot of character sa team. We are learning how to win games in a tight game,” said San Miguel head coach Leo Austria after the match.
“Before, alam namin kung paano manalo but we have a lot of original players not in our team. We have a lot of injured players. I’m so happy for the players coming off the bench na nag-istep up sila,” Austria added.
Jewel Ponferada led Rain or Shine with 20 points, while Rey Nambatac had 18 points, five rebounds, and five assists.