SLR 74, SMB 93

On: 08 May 2010

Johnson vs Freeman

With Kelly Williams bound to move over to Talk n Text in the next few days, the Sta. Lucia Realtors were aching to beat the San Miguel Beermen on 7 May 2010.

The Beermen, however, had another thing in mind. San Miguel stretched its hot streak to seven games, assuring itself of a slot in the 2010 PBA Fiesta Conference playoff phase with a 93-74 whipping of Sta. Lucia at the Araneta Coliseum.

Arwind Santos and Gabe Freeman both churned out double-double numbers as the Beermen bucked the absence of the injury-stricken Jay Washington in keeping their domination of Williams and his Sta. Lucia teammates.

"Ang idea lang namin was not to take Sta. Lucia for granted. We know that they're a very aggressive team. Blue-collar worker yan. Patay ka kapag minaliit mo sila," said San Miguel coach Siot Tanquingcen.

"The guys kept that in mind. Arwind Santos typified the effort the team put in as he did a good job on both ends of the court. Dumepensa na kay Anthony Johnson, nag-deliver pa sa opensa," Tanquingcen added.

Santos came through with 18 points and 15 rebounds, outclassing Williams in what's probably one of his last few games as a Realtor. Top officials of both Sta. Lucia and Talk n Text admit they're close to coming to terms regarding Williams' transfer to the Smart-PLDT franchise.

At halftime, Williams said: "Wherever I end up with, I'll to do what I have to do – give my best in each game."

Williams struggled with a 6-of-24 field-goal shooting for 14 points that went with 12 rebounds, two steals, one assist and one block in 44 minutes of action. The entire Sta. Lucia team shot only 31.9 percent from the field as the Realtors suffered a fifth straight loss to the Beermen dating back to last season.

San Miguel guaranteed itself of a spot in the post-elims play as it closed out with an 8-1 win-loss record in the first round of the preliminary phase. Sta. Lucia suffered a fifth loss against three wins.

"We finished on top in the first round but pero mukhang mahihirapan na kami sa second round. Nagsisimula ng mag-pick up ng rhythm ang mga kalaban," said Tanquingcen.

San Miguel opened a 17-point spread, 59-42, in the third quarter but Sta. Lucia came back to life on a 16-6 run. Both teams struggled at the start with the Realtors taking a 16-15 edge in the opening period before the Beermen seized control and surged ahead, 41-35, at halftime. (SB)

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