PBA: SMB fends off TerraFirma for 3rd straight win

Camille B. Naredo, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Dec 26 2021 06:27 PM | Updated as of Dec 26 2021 07:05 PM

San Miguel handed TerraFirma its third straight loss of the conference. PBA Media Bureau.
San Miguel handed TerraFirma its third straight loss of the conference. PBA Media Bureau.

MANILA (UPDATED) - The San Miguel Beermen weathered a last-ditch rally by the TerraFirma Dyip to secure a 100-88 triumph, Sunday at the Araneta Coliseum.

This is the third straight win for the Beermen in the 2021 PBA Governors' Cup after opening the conference with back-to-back losses.

Terrence Romeo hit big shots down the stretch for San Miguel and finished with 23 points, while import Brandon Brown had 23 points and 10 boards. CJ Perez tallied an all-around effort of 17 points, eight rebounds, five assists, one steal, and one block.

The Dyip have now lost three straight games to drop to 1-4 in the conference.

"As long as we're winning, whether it's 20 or one point, for me, a win is a win," SMB coach Leo Austria said after the game.

The Beermen never trailed in the game and were in control for most of the way, leading by as much as 23 points, 85-62, after a split at the line by Perez with just over eight minutes left in the game.

But the Dyip didn't go down easily, as their import Antonio Hester came alive in the second half. Hester sparked their comeback in the fourth quarter, with Juami Tiongson and Aldrech Ramos also joining the fray.

Tiongson and Ramos nailed three straight triples to trim the deficit to six points, 94-88, with still 1:54 to play in the game.

"'Yun ang sakit sakit namin lagi. Pagka lumalamang kami ng malaki, there's a tendency to relax," Austria admitted.

It was Romeo who responded for San Miguel, stepping up for a jumper that gave them more breathing room, 96-88, with 1:44 to go. Perez restored a double-digit lead with 55 seconds to go when he corralled the rebound off his own miss for a layup that made it 98-88.

The Dyip would not threaten again, and Romeo iced the game with a fadeaway jumper that pegged the final score with 25 seconds to go.

Hester scored 17 of his 19 points in the second half, while Tiongson finished with 21 points, five rebounds, and three assists. No other TerraFirma player reached double-digits, however.

Alex Cabagnot, the former SMB point guard who was traded to TerraFirma in between conferences, missed the game due to a foot injury.

The Scores:

San Miguel 100 - Romeo 23, Brown 23, Perez 17, Manuel 14, Fajardo 11, Lassiter 8, Enciso 2, Tautuaa 2, Pessumal 0, Zamar 0.

Terrafirma 88 - Tiongson 21, Hester 19, Calvo 9, Daquioag 8, Cahilig 7, Ramos 7, Gabayni 4, Camson 4, Pascual 4, Ganuelas-Rosser 3, Batiller 2. 

Quarters: 27-18, 48-37, 77-58, 100-88.