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RR Garcia of the San Miguel Beermen soars for a layup in their quarterfinals match against the Rain or Shine Elasto Painters | PBA Media Bureau
MANILA, Philippines – San Miguel held off the Rain or Shine, 98-91, to book the first semifinals slot of the Philippine Cup, in Sunday night's PBA action at the Ynares Center in Antipolo.
The Elasto Painters erected an early lead in the opening salvo, but the Beermen quickly turned the tide in the 12 minutes.
Behind RR Garcia's 22 points, San Miguel widened the gap.
Rain or Shine, via Beau Belga's 18 points, pulled to within just five. But SMB's Arwind Santos was just too much as the clock expired.
"Since ROS beat Blackwater in a playoff, I'm a bit worried dahil alam ko na they are really a contender," said SMB coach Leo Austria. "We were having a hard time beating them. [While] lumalamang kami ng 17, 18 they keep on catching up."
"I still believe they are a tough team. Unfortunately for them, our players really wanted to win," he added.
The Beermen will be taking on the winner of the TNT-GlobalPort quarterfinal series, which will be determined Monday.
"Worried ako dahil baka abutin kami ng 'Law of Averages.' Buti na lang it's a series. We can afford to lose. But every game, we will try to win," the mentor added.
San Miguel, the defending Philippine Cup champion, hasn't lost since being upset by the Phoenix Fuel Masters -- which is also looking for a semis ticket against Star. The Beermen have won 10 straight since.
SAN MIGUEL 98 - Garcia 25, Fajardo 14, Sntos 13, Ross 13, Lassiter 11, Espinas 10, Cabagnot 9, Tubid 3, De Ocampo 0.
RAIN OR SHINE 91 - Belga 18, Washington 16, Norwood 14, Ahanmisi 12, Ponferada 10, Yap 9, Chan 6, Cruz 4, Matias 2, Tolomia 0, Tiu 0, Trollano 0.
Quarterscores: 28-21, 51-38, 74-67, 98-91