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 Bear extended their winning streak to four matches 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 collected 26 points and 14 rebounds from Mawala Tautua, while Chris Ross scored five of his 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. It was the third consecutive defeat for Blackwater.

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

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

San Miguel advanced, 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 seal the victory in the fourth inning, with the elite team making turns while Alex Cabagno painfully missed two of the jumpers – the second was flush in and off the edge.

Blackwater first hit the OT with three KG Canaletta indicators, and it appeared that Bremen had been exposed to the gas while Tutua and Arwind Santos missed throwing the ball. But Ross’s push cut 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 their own mutations. Blackwater had three attempts to capture the lead in the final seconds, but Mike Tulumea and Ron Dennison missed the ball, and a Don Trollano bounced off the rim before von Bissumal finally managed to hit the rebound four seconds before the end.

“I am very fortunate to be able to bring in von Bissumal, and he made this decisive rebound in the latest takeover of Blackwater,” said Austria.

Besumal could only make one of 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, Cabagno finished 11 points, as all SMB key players saw the key minutes. Beermen has one day off before returning to play on Thursday against the Phoenix Super LPG.

Dakuage led Blackwater with 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 take some positives off the game as they welcomed a return to second-placed Maurice Shaw after missing many of their assignments due to back spasms as well.

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

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