The monkey is finally off of San Miguel’s back.
The Beermen finally broke into the win column after dismantling import-less Blackwater, 127-106, to improve their standing in the 2019 Philippine Basketball Association Commissioner’s Cup at the Mall of Asia Arena in Pasay City.
Charles Rhodes had his finest outing this conference, turning in a monster double-double performance with game-highs of 32 points and 19 rebounds while Marcio Lassiter hit nine triples on his way to 29 points as the duo spearheaded San Miguel to victory.
San Miguel improved to 1 win, 2 losses after snapping its two-game losing streak to start its campaign.
On the other hand, Blackwater, who was co-league leader coming in, saw its two-game winning streak halted, falling to third place at 5-2 behind the NorthPort Batang Pier 5-1 and TNT KaTropa 5-1.
The other teams include the Alaska Aces 4-2, the Meralco Bolts 3-3, the Rain or Shine Elasto Painters 2-2, Barangay Ginebra San Miguel 2-3, the Phoenix Pulse Fuel Masters 1-3, the Columbian Dyip 1-3, the Magnolia Hotshots Pambansang Manok 0-2, and the NLEX Road Warriors 0-5.
Playing with a sense of urgency, San Miguel came out firing to send a statement right away. The Beermen swiftly raced to a 29-21 lead at the end of one to seize control.
Finally getting their rhythm, they continued pouncing on the shocked Elite in the second, establishing a bigger lead of 18 points, 58-40, after a Von Pessumal trey at the 3:03 mark of the period.
San Miguel carried a 62-47 advantage at the turn.
The Beermen cruised the rest of the way in the second half, continuing their dominance by keeping a double-digit lead until victory was secured.
Alex Cabagnot added 19 markers for the Beermen while June Mar Fajardo also had a double-double with 12 points and 11 boards.
Blackwater had a tough break as it had an instant handicap, playing minus import Alex Stepheson who was down due to stomach virus.
The burly inside operator flew back home in the morning as he wanted his personal doctor there to check on his stomach ailment.
It is still uncertain when he will return.
The Elite was led by Bobby Ray Parks Jr.’s team-high 23 points.