SMB spoils Arboleda’s return

MANILA, Philippines -- San Miguel Beer (SMB) weathered a series of rallies of Air21 to pocket a 106-100 victory in the KFC-PBA Fiesta Cup Friday night at the Ynares Center in Antipolo City.
With the win, the Beermen stretched its winning run to 9 games for the league-leading 10-1 slate.
Though lingering at the cellar, the Express gave the Beermen a tough fight only to wither down in the end. They absorbed their 9th straight defeat, going deeper in the team standings at 1-10.

Air21 guard Wynnie Arboleda had 18 points and 6 assists in his return from a long suspension and was responsible in keeping the Express in the thick of things.
Mike Cortez’s triple pushed Air21 within 4, 93-97, but Jonas Villnueva banged in a triple that sparked a 9-4 exchange, capped by the two-hand slam of Arwind Santos to put the game out of reach, 106-97.
Gabe Freemen led SMB with 27 points while Anthony Washington and Dondon Hontiveros added 18 and 15 markers, respectively.
Reggie Larry paced the Express with 25 markers while Renren Ritualo added 15.
Rain or Shine silences Barako
Meanwhile, Rain or Shine erupted for 35 points in the third quarter to silence Barako Coffee, 100-78, and start its second round campaign on a good note.
Jay-R Reyes unloaded 11 of his 23 points in the pivotal third period where the Elasto Painters almost matched their first-half output that started their breakaway.
Reyes also grabbed 10 rebounds and shot 8-of-15 from the field in his best performance yet in the tournament.
“Jay-R stepped up today. I keep telling him that he’s a very talented player but he has to be consistent,” said Rain or Shine mentor Caloy Garcia, who also drew 16 points and 12 boards from import Jai Lewis.
“Overall, it’s more of a team game that we played today. For us to move farther here, we have to play team basketball,” he added.
Jeff Chan and Ryan Arana contributed 13 and 12 markers
respectively for the Elasto Painters, who improved their mark to 5-5.
Gabe Norwood netted 11, dished out 7 assists and helped in containing the Coffee Masters’ high-scoring import Sammy Monroe, who was held down to a conference-low 12 points on 5-of-13 shooting from the field.
Richard Alonzo contributed 11 points for Barako Coffee, which absorbed its 3rd straight defeat to stay at 9th spot with 2-9 mark.

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