San Miguel turned on the jets in the second half to blow out Alaska, 114-96, in the PBA Philippine Cup on Sunday at the Araneta Coliseum.
The win gives the Beermen a 7-4 win-loss card to end the eliminations, with either TNT or Ginebra being their opponent in the first round of the playoffs.
Alaska actually led by as much as 10 early in the second quarter, 33-23, but they were unable to sustain this down the line as SMB kept in step behind Alex Cabagnot, who scored 20 of his 31 points in the first half.
Cabagnot continued leading SMB in the second half as a tough finish in the middle to give them a 72-69 lead in the third quarter ignited a 9-2 run that gave his side an eight-point lead entering the final frame.
San Miguel continued the onslaught in the fourth quarter and erected a lead as huge as 21, 100-79, thanks to a June Mar Fajardo jumper with 5:34 left in the game.
“We all know we’re already in the quarterfinals, but this game is really important for us. I’m so happy with the players because nakita niyo sense of urgency. We don’t want to get to the quarterfinals on a losing note,” head coach Leo Austria said.
Five other players scored in double figures for the Beermen, who missed the services of Terrence Romeo earlier.
Christian Standhardinger came up with 23 points and seven rebounds off the bench in his return from a five-game absence, while Arwind Santos knocked down five threes on his way to finishing with 17 points and nine rebounds.
Von Pessumal and Fajardo added 14 and 13, respectively, while Chris Ross was a stablizing force in the backcourt after talliying 10 points, 14 assists and four steals.
Alaska got 22 points, five assists and four rebounds from Chris Banchero as they slipped to 4-6 in the standings.
SAN MIGUEL (114) – Cabagnot 31, Standhardinger 23, Santos 17, Pessumal 14, Fajardo 13, Ross 10, Lassiter 4, Rosser 2, Zamar 0, Mamaril 0, Tubid 0, Vigil 0, Nabong 0.
ALASKA (96) – Banchero 22, Cruz 13, Thoss 12, Baclao 12, Teng 11, Potts 6, Pascual 6, Casio 4, Enciso 2, Exciminiano 2, Galliguez 2, Racal 2, Ayaay 2, Babilonia 0.
Quarters: 21-27, 45-50, 79-71, 114-96.