MO Tautuaa of San Miguel roars after delivering a powerful dunk against Rain or Shine during their PBA Governors’ Cup game yesterday at the Philsports Arena. The Beermen won, 129-116. | PHOTOGRAPH COURTESY OF PBA

San Miguel Beer took it slow before uncorking a strong finishing kick to book a 129-116 victory over a depleted Rain or Shine squad in the Philippine Basketball Association Governors’ Cup yesterday at the Philsports Arena.

With Marcio Lassiter and CJ Perez letting their guns loose and Vic Manuel and Mo Tautuaa flexing their muscles inside, the Beermen hardly utilized import Cameron Clark in booking the impressive win that served as a fitting finale to their elimination round campaign.

Manuel played his best game in this season-ending conference, finishing with 23 points on 11-of-16 field goal shooting while Clark also finished with 23 markers and Lassiter, Tautuaa and Perez submitted 20 markers apiece to underscore the Beermen’s fluid, well-balanced offensive assault.

Still, Manuel was far from satisfied.

“I’m still not satisfied with my game,” said Manuel, who is coming off an iliotibial band syndrome near the knee area that sidelined him for several game in the previous Commissioner’s Cup.

“I wanted to perform better but there was still some pain that I’m suffering from my previous injury.”

With their ninth win in 11 matches, the Beermen are already assured of the second spot heading into the quarterfinals.

They, however, have to wait for the outcome of the battle between leader TNT Tropang Giga and Barangay Ginebra San Miguel in the featured encounter before formally claiming the No. 1 seeding.
The Tropang Giga and the Kings are still playing at press time.

But against an Elasto Painters squad that was playing with an all-local crew, the Beermen were at their best.

After a slow start that saw the Elasto Painters leading by as many as eight, 49-41, in the midway point of the second period, the Beermen displayed their deadly form and turned things around.

At one point, they led by as many as 20 points, 119-99, off a Lassiter jumper to send a strong statement that they are prepared to compete in the quarterfinals either against the eight seed in Phoenix Super LPG or the seventh seed.

The Scores:

SAN MIGUEL (129) — Manuel 23, Tautuaa 23, Lassiter 20, Clark 20, Perez 20, Cruz 12, Bulanadi 5, Herndon 3, Enciso 2, Faundo 1, Brodnial 0, Canete 0, Ross 0.

RAIN OR SHINE (116) — Mamuyac 23, Borboran 15, Belga 12, Torres 12, Demusis 12, Namabatac 9, Asistio 7, Nieto 7, Ildefonso 7, Nieto 7, Santillan 6, Yap 4, Caracut 2, Clarito 0, Ponferrada 0.

QUARTERS: 36-23, 62-56, 100-91, 129-116.

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