By Leobert Julian A. de la Peña
The San Miguel Beermen proved to be too much and overpowered their rival squad TNT Tropang Giga, 115-99, for their fourth-straight win in the ongoing 2022 PBA Philippine Cup.
With the big-time win, San Miguel officially punched their ticket to the tournament quarterfinals and clinched solo top spot honors with a 7-1 win-loss record.
Aside from a quarterfinal qualification, the Beermen also ended Tropang Giga’s five-game winning streak and dealt them their first-ever blowout loss in the 2022 Philippine Cup.
After a tightly-contested first half, San Miguel immediately flipped the switch and outscored the Tropang Giga in the last two quarters, 62-52.
PBA’s six-time Most Valuable Player (MVP) June Mar Fajardo had another monster game and was unstoppable against TNT with 30 points and 16 rebounds.
Meanwhile, two-way guard and one of San Miguel’s newly-acquired players, Jericho Cruz, backstopped Fajardo with a 30-point masterpiece.
Both teams weren’t able to grab full control of the game in the first two quarters and engaged in a back-and-forth affair as TNT always answered San Miguel’s scoring run.
However, the Beermen began to pull away and extended their lead to double-digits in the last two minutes of the third quarter, 82-69, spearheaded by Cruz’s personal 8-2 run.
TNT attempted to claw their way back in the first four minutes of the final canto after head coach Chot Reyes decided to put an all-defensive team on the court to contain the San Miguel offense but wasn’t enough to get the job done.
The Beermen even topped their third-quarter scoring and were unconscious from the field, extending their lead to 19 points, 107-88.
TNT never cut the lead to single digits and adding to their woes was Mikey Williams’ poor shooting night on 3/14 shooting and only managed to score 11 points.
The Tropang Giga will aim to bounce back and improve their standing to 8-3 as they take on the Barangay Ginebra San Miguel tomorrow.