Streaking Beermen Blackwater sinks into first morning PBA match

Alex Cabagno contributed 11 points to San Miguel’s extra-time win over Blackwater. PBA Media Office

Manila, Philippines – (Updated) San Miguel Beer extended their winning streak to four games after escaping Blackwater, 90-88, in overtime in the first official morning match of the 2020 PBA, on Tuesday at the University of Angeles Foundation Hall in Angeles City, Pampanga.

The hotly contested match was the first of four scheduled for Tuesday, as the league was back in action after the conference was briefly suspended in support of their COVID-19 protocols.

Bremen had 26 points and 14 rebounds from Mwala Tutua, while Chris Ross scored five of eight points in extra time while also adding eight rebounds and three assists to lead Bremen to victory.

San Miguel, the All-Filipino champions, improved to 5-2 at the convention, while the elite fell to 2-4. This was the third consecutive defeat for Blackwater.

SMB coach Leo Austria said afterwards, “It’s really tough for us, especially the game this morning. This is the first time a competitive game has been played in the morning, but we have to do it because of the circumstances.”

“It’s an ugly game, but we like it, because as long as we win, there is no problem with that,” he added. “But I’m so happy, and we’re lucky to have this W.”

San Miguel went ahead, 84-81, with two and a half minutes remaining in the standings, thanks to the Ross and Bucket trilogy by Tautuaa, but abandoned the Blackwater Ed Daquioag triple pointer 80 seconds before play. Neither team was able to win in the fourth half, with the elite team making turns while Alex Cabagno painfully missed two of the jumpers – entering the second and outside.

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Blackwater first hit the OT with the KGC Canaletta, and Berman appeared to have gassed while Tutua and Arwind Santos missed throwing the ball. But Ross narrowed the lead to two points, 88-86, and his split on the line made it a one-point game, 88-87, with a minute and a half to play.

A spin by Daquioag paved the way for Ross to give San Miguel the lead with throwing the ball in a transition period, but Berman kept the door open to the elite with turnovers of their own. Blackwater had three attempts to snatch the lead in the final seconds, but Mike Tulumea and Ron Dennison skipped the ball, and a Don Trollano bounced off the rim before von Bissumal finally made the rebound four seconds before the end.

“I am very fortunate to have brought in von Bissumal, and he made this decisive rebound in the last Blackwater takeover,” said Austria.

Besumal could only make one of the two free throws to tie the final score, but San Miguel survived when Tulumea’s attempt to win three pointers was incorrect.

Marcio Lasseter scored 12 points and Capagno finished on 11 points, as all SMB key players saw the key minutes. Beermen has one day off before returning to play Thursday against the Phoenix Super LPG.

Dakuage Blackwater led by 20 points, while Tolumina added 17 and Trollano scored 10. But they calmed down after a hot start and shot just 33 per cent of the field. Elite also missed Paul Desiderio due to injury and Mac Bello due to back cramps.

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Blackwater, however, could still squeeze some of the positives off the game as they generally welcomed a second comeback in Morris Shaw after missing many of their assignments due to back cramps as well.

PBA, PBA Bubble, Philippine Cup 2020 PBA, Pan-Filipino Conference, San Miguel Beer, Bremen, Blackwater

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