Just in time for the playoffs, Von Pessumal contribution coming from the bench helped San Miguel Beermen edge Barangay Ginebra San Miguel in their series opener, 102-90.
Pessumal who was acquired by the Beermen last season via a trade which involved Arnold Van Opstal logged his conference-high of 18 points while shooting sharp from the three-point area as he converted four out of his five attempts.
In the first half both Ginebra and San Miguel played competitive basketball but on the second half especially in the final period it was all Beermen. That was the time where Pessumal exploded along with Matt Ganuelas-Rosser.
Ganuelas-Rosser added 8 points who also came from the bench. He helped the Beermen second unit to maintain its momentum with a pair of explosive dunks.
Even without Greg Slaughter, the Gin Kings was able to limit June Mar Fajardo to a single digit points. However, San Miguel has a lot of firepower that can instantly take over the scoring slack in case “the Kraken” is being contained by a squeezing defense.
“They were sagging on June Mar, and June Mar helped his teammates as a facilitator,” said Beermen coahc Leo Austria.
Arwind Santos is the beneficiator of those passes and he didn’t failed his big-man teammate. Santos led all SMB scorer with 23 points along with his 8 boards.
Fatigue might be the reason why Ginebra lacks energy when they faced their semi-final opponent. They played three games against Rain or Shine Elasto Painters which includes the triple-overtime at the end of the eliminations round.
“We can’t rest on our laurels. We know Ginebra was playing well before this game. Baka napagod lang since this is their fourth game in eight days,” said Austria.
Japeth Aguilar, Sol Mercado and Scottie Thompson each scored 17 points for the “Never-Say-Die” team but the entire team committed 25 turnovers and resulted to a 22 opponent’s points.
Ginebra vs San Miguel Box Score
Quarters: 26-20 | 50-41 | 78-63 | 102-90
Beermen (102) – Santos 23, Pessumal 18, Lassiter 17, Cabagnot 15, Fajardo 9, Ganuelas-Rosser 8, Ross 6, Heruela 4, Espinas 2
Gin Kings (90) – J. Aguilar 17, Thompson 17, Mercado 17, Mariano 12, Caperal 8, Tenorio 6, Ferrer 5, Devance 4, Cruz 4