PBA: San Miguel clinches playoff berth with rout of Phoenix

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Metro Manila (CNN Philippines, September 17) – The San Miguel Beermen clinched a playoff berth after a 110-80 demolition of Phoenix Super LPG Fuel Masters in the 2021 PBA Philippine Cup on Friday at the DHVSU Gym in Bacolor, Pampanga.

CJ Perez led the scoring barrage for the Beermen with 24 points to get their sixth win in nine games, as they bucked the loss of flashy guard Terrence Romeo in the first half due to a right foot injury.

The frontline duo of Moala Tautuaa and six-time league Most Valuable Player June Mar Fajardo also became a factor in the rout. The 6-foot-8 Tautuua tallied 19 markers while the 6-foot-10 Fajardo normed 18 points and 11 rebounds.

The Beermen never relinquished their lead in the game from the start, as they became more offensive-oriented in the second half to post double-digit wide margins.

The former Philippine Cup champions also led by as much as 37 points, 104-67, in the middle of the fourth canto via a Von Pessumal trey.

San Miguel was simply dominant as they shot a total of 47% (40-out-of-85 field goal attempts) compared to Phoenix's 36% and made astounding marks in points in the paint (54-28) and bench points (56-33).

"We bounced back tonight. I'm not expecting that this will be the outcome, I'm really surprised. The rest of the crew played well because they know the importance of this game," said San Miguel head coach Leo Austria, whose team suffered a close loss against Rain or Shine last Sept. 12.

San Miguel currently holds the fourth spot in the team standings and still has a chance for a second place finish, which will give the Beermen a twice-to-beat advantage in the playoffs.

Jason Perkins led the Fuel Masters in a losing effort with 18 points and nine boards as they closed their campaign with a 4-7 record. Phoenix is currently in ninth place in the team standings, in danger of missing the playoffs.

The Scores:

SAN MIGUEL 110 – Perez 24, Tautuaa 19, Fajardo 18, Santos 16, Ross 9, Lassiter 8, Zamar 5, Pessumal 5, Romeo 3, Sena 3, Gotladera 0, Comboy 0, Gamalinda 0

PHOENIX 80 – Perkins 18, Banchero 13, Muyang 12, Garcia 11, Wright 10, Manuel 8, Chua 6, Jazul 2, Calisaan 0, Melecio 0, Rios 0, Pascual 0

Quarterscores: 24-21, 55-47, 85-59, 110-80