The San Miguel Beermen has forced a do-or-die game against NorthPort Batang Pier after winning their quarterfinals opener, 98-84.
Chris Ross paced the Beermen particularly in the opening quarter and also gave his team stability in the final quarter.
Ross tallied with 18 points, nine rebounds, and two assists. He was later named as the Best Player of the Game.
June Mar Fajardo had another double-double performance with his 11 points and 19 rebounds. Most of his production came when NorthPort import Prince Ibeh was pulled out due to foul trouble.
Early in the third quarter Ibeh committed his fourth foul then at the 8:02 mark he got slapped with an offensive and that was his five personal fouls.
Batang Pier head coach had no choice but to pull out his import and it resulted in an SMB scoring barrage.
The Beermen lead went as high as 17 points as Fajardo and Chris Mccullough had a clear vision to the basket.
Coach Jarencio made an adjustment and that involves putting a risk to let Ibeh play. He inserted back his import at the 3:47 mark to stop the Beermen rampage and it worked.
NorthPort made its run and they trimmed the deficit to just one point in the fourth quarter.
However, the anchor of Batang Pier’s defense and one of the reasons why they finished at number two after the elimination round got fouled out at 3:43 mark.
Once again, without Ibeh in the middle, the Beermen’s offense went unstoppable as they forced the game to a knockout match this coming Wednesday.
NorthPort super-rookie Robert Bolick led his team in scoring with 20 points to go along with his six assists.
Chris Ross Is Unstoppable In The Open Court
San Miguel vs NorthPort Game 1 Quarterfinals Box Score
Quarters: 28-18 | 47-42 | 73-65 | 98-84
Beermen (98) – McCullough 24, Ross 18, Santos 15, Fajardo 11, Lassiter 8, Standhardinger 7, Romeo 6, Cabagnot 5, Ganuelas-Rosser 4, Pessumal 0, Vigil 0
Batang Pier (84) – Bolick 20, Ibeh 12, Tautuaa 12, Taha 11, Mercado 7, Anthony 6, Ferrer 6, Lanete 4, Elorde 2, Cruz 2, Flores 2, Gabayni 0