San Miguel Beer regained its bearing nearing the playoffs, snapping a three-game losing skein with an emphatic 117-100 win over Phoenix Petroleum in the PBA Governors Cup at the MOA Arena in Pasay City last night.
"We just showed San Miguel is a playoff team," said Marcio Lassiter, who along with Christian Standhardinger, stepped up to help Kevin Murphy get the team on track.
"San Miguel will be ready when the playoffs come," said Standhardinger, coming through with 29 points and 14 rebounds in a battle with Phoenix super import Eugene Phelps.
In the fourth quarter, the Beermen worked hard together to spark a breakaway en route to improving their record to 3-4 at eighth place.
The Fuel Masters, meanwhile, dropped to 6-3 after the game marred by a flagrant infraction by SMB import Kevin Murphy in an incident with Calvin Abueva late in the game.
Phoenix coach Louie Alas, team manager Paolo Bugia and player Doug Kramer drew technical fouls for leaving their bench during the commotion.
Murphy sat out the last 4:11 of play and settled for a 26-point output after two huge productions that both went for naught.
The former Utah Jazz finally nailed a first win in the PBA while drawing tremendous support from Standhardinger and Lassiter.
The SMB rifleman hit timely three-pointers and finished with 26 markers on top of eight assists and six rebounds.
"I'm just helping out space the floor. Fortunately, my teammates found me tonight. You play together and good things happen," said Lassiter.
Alex Cabagnot (with 12 points) and Arwind Santos (with 10) were two other players who put in double-digit outputs for the Beermen who continue to await the return of injury-hit main man June Mar Fajardo.
With another monstrous game from Phelps, the Fuel Masters fought the Beermen to a tough battle before fading away in the final canto.
With one of his five triples in the night, Lassiter ignited a decisive run that opened a 15-point spread for the Beermen at 92-77.
Then from the 92-82 count, the Beermen worked on another key assault to take the fight out of the Fuel Masters. (SB)