ILOILO CITY - San Miguel Beer banked on two reserves for the initial spark then went to its mainstays to finish the job in a come-from-behind 88-76 win over TNT KaTropa in the first Petron Blaze Saturday Special in the PBA Philippine Cup at the University of San Agustin Gym here.
Santos (15 points and 11 rebounds) and Cabagnot (11 markers and 12 boards) both churned out double-double games while Lassiter contributed 15 points, eight boards, three steals and two assists.
Matt Ganuelas-Rosser and Brian Heruela made impact on the brief minutes that they played, providing the wake-up call the Beermen needed to remain unbeaten in the all-Filipino tourney.
As San Miguel had wiped out an early 12-point deficit, Alex Cabagnot, Arwind Santos and Marcio Lassiter came back to deliver the coup de grace as the Beermen nailed a third straight win while dealing the Texters a second loss in three starts.
The Beermen remained the only team with a clean slate in the tourney where they're in chase of a fourth straight crown.
Though neutralized in the first three quarters, June Mar Fajardo still ended up the SMB leading scorer with 20 points on 8-of-11 field goals and 4-of-9 free throws.
Rosser and Heruela made their presence felt, helping fuel their SMB's run from 54-61 down late in the third.
Rosser turned in eight points, five rebounds and three assists against his former team while Heruela added five markers, three boards and two dish-offs.
Rosser set up Fajardo for a basket from the post to cap a huge 11-to-nothing run that pushed San Miguel ahead at 65-61.
From there, the two teams fought through four deadlocks before the Beermen eventually seized control.
Santos and Cabagnot highlighted their double-double games with back-to-back treys that broke the back of the Texters at 84-76. (SB)
SAN MIGUEL 88 - Fajardo 20, Lassiter 15, Santos 15, Cabagnot 11, Ganuelas-Rosser 8, Pessumal 7, Ross 5, Heruela 5, De Ocampo 2, Semerad 0, Mamaril 0, Lanete 0.
TALK N' TEXT 76 - Rosario 15, Tautuaa 12, Pogoy 11, Castro 9, Garcia 9, Williams 9, Semerad 6, Reyes 5, Golla 0, Carey 0, Torres 0, Onwubere 0.
Quarters: 14-24, 35-36, 58-61, 88-76.