SLR 71, SMB 89

On: 31 October 2008

PBA's 34th Season

Reigning MVP Kelly Williams threw bricks all night and San Miguel Beer took advantage to get past Sta. Lucia Realty and into the solo lead in the 2008-09 KFC PBA Philippine Cup at the Ynares Sports Arena in Pasig Thursday night.

With a far better field goal shooting, the Beermen walloped the Realtors, 89-71, and surged atop the leaderboard with a 5-2 win-loss record, relegating the Alaska Aces (4-2) to second place.

"We take pride in our defense," said San Miguel Beer head coach Sito Tanquincen."It was our defense which gave us that four-game win streak which we had earlier (in the conference). We know we can shoot the ball but its our defense that allows us get opportunities to score."

Lordy Tugade, Dorian Pena, Jay Washington, Bonbon Custodio and Dondon Hontiveros scored at least 11 points each, leading the Beermen past the Realtors who struggled with main man Williams firing blanks.

Williams had a miserable 1-of-17 shooting, missing his first 15 attempts from the field and nailing his lone basket – a trey – with only 1:10 left to play and the outcome long settled by the Beermen. It was a new career-low output for the usually prolific Fil-Am forward, No. 4 in the league in scoring last year with an average of 18.2 points a game. His previous low was five which he scored twice before.

"Wesley (Gonzales) and Jay Wash (Washington) did a good job on Kelly. He's Sta. Lucia's main man so we figured a way to limit his scoring. But I think he also had an off night that's why he scored only that much. Its not too often you see Kelly missing that many but without taking away anything from our defense, I think it was a combination of both," explained Tanquingcen.

While the Beermen converted 50 percent of their shots, the Realtors hit only at a 32.5 percent clip as they suffered a second straight defeat and slid to joint third with Talk 'N Text, Rain or Shine, Air21 and Red Bull with identical 3-3 slates.

Tugade scored a game-high 19 points, including a three-pointer touching off the Beermen's vicious 17-5 attack to close the game.

Both teams missed a key player with Ryan Reyes and Marc Pingris sitting out the game due to injuries.

Minus Reyes and with Williams out of sync, the Realtors still jumped the gun on the Beermen largely through the early exploits of Bitoy Omolon.

The Realtors accounted for all of the game's first seven points and enjoyed a 10-point lead once in the first half.

But they just couldn't keep the pace throughout with Williams groping for form.

The Beermen started and finished strong in the final half, scoring a convincing win to make up for their sorry loss to the Red Bull Barakos Saturday.

Washington showed up Williams in a matchup of two top draft picks, collecting 14 points and 12 rebounds. Pena, meanwhile, bulldozed his way to 15 points and nine rebounds.

Wesley Gonzales had only nine points but was a big help as San Miguel seized the momentum on a 14-3 opening run in the third period.

The Beermen never let up after surging ahead at 54-45.

Williams, the 2007 Rookie of the Year who went on to win league MVP honors last August, scored the first of his two lowest outputs in the league on January 10, 2007 in a 99-91 loss to Alaska in the 2006-07 Philippine Cup. In the same tournament almost a year later, or November 7, 2007 to be exact, he again scored five points but this time the Realtors won, 115-80, against Air21.

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