San Miguel beat Columbian for the first time this season after scoring a 113-107 win in the 2019 PBA Governors' Cup Sunday at the Smart Araneta Coliseum.
Dez Wells put on a show with 39 points on 13-for-24 shooting, 9 rebounds and 5 assists as the Beermen bounced back from a tough loss to Barangay Ginebra last week to improve to 5-1. June Mar Fajardo chipped in 19 points and 13 boards, while Alex Cabagnot added 15 markers.
Their first win over the Dyip after two conferences this year did not come easy for the Beermen as Columbian looked like a team that knew very well it was capable of going toe-to-toe with the perennial champions.
"We knew from the start that this will be a tough game for us because we know Columbian's really comfortable against us. This season, even though we won two championships they are the team that we couldn't beat in the eliminations," he said.
Austria said it also didn't help San Miguel that it looked excited to put away the Dyip, who used a strong third quarter to put their hopes of a season sweep in motion. San Miguel led by just one, 55-54, with less than a minute into third before Columbian pulled off a 16-4 binge behind Khapri Alston, who had nine during that run to lead them to a 70-59 cushion midway through the period.
Fortunately, Columbian didn't seem up to the task and failed to take advantage of that sizable lead, allowing SMB to stay in step for most of the final frame. A Jackson Corpuz basket with 4:46 to go gave the Dyip their last lead of the game at 95-94 as momentum would slowly shift to the Beermen, beginning on an Arwind Santos trey that finally gave SMB the lead for good.
Wells later put the finishing touches on Columbian's collapse, which was compounded by Corpuz's flagrant 1 foul with 3:09 left, by scoring the bulk of the team's points in the final three minutes of action.
"After the first half, we tackled our emotions because they wanted to beat Columbian right away. It's a process. I told them to just control their emotions. I told them to set up our plays in the first half. That's our game eh. In the first half, we were playing game. Running game, a lot of isolations, fast shots that didn't go in. During second half we were able to realize we were not playing our game," Austria explained further.
San Miguel also saw an encouraging Beermen debut from Mo Tautuaa, who scored all 10 of his points in the first quarter alone.
"I wasn't really worried about how many points I was gonna have. I just wanted to make sure I help the team, whether offensively or defensively. Just making sure I fit you know," said Tautuaa.
Austria, though, was pleased with the minutes Tautuaa provided off the pine.
"In his first outing he played really well, scored 10 points in his first eight minutes. Definitely he'll help us in our quest of winning a lot of championships," said Austria. "You can see he's the perfect reliever for June Mar. But he's not only a perfect reliever eh, he can also play with June Mar. We haven't seen the combination of the two, but in the near future, we will do that."
Khapri Alston's monster double-double of 38 points and 25 rebounds was wasted in the loss for Columbian, who dropped to 3-4. Four other players scored in double figures for the Dyip as CJ Perez and Juami Tiongson added 18 each, albeit on a combined 13-for-40 clip. Rashawn McCarthy and Corpuz threw in 15 and 12, respectively.
San Miguel (113) -- Wells 39, Fajardo 19, Cabagnot 15, Romeo 12, Santos 10, Tautuaa 10, Ross 5, Pessumal 3, Lassiter 0, Nabong 0.
Columbian (107) -- Alston 38, Tiongson 18, Perez 18, McCarthy 17, Corpuz 12, Agovida 2, Gabayni 2, Celda 0, Calvo 0, Cahilig 0.
Quarters: 28-26, 51-52, 76-80, 113-107.
- Columbian shot just 36.1 percent against San Miguel's imposing defense, although they won the rebounding battle 68-56.
- According to PBA statistician Fidel Mangonon, Alston's 18 offensive rebounds were the most by any player since James Mays had 19 for San Mig Coffee vs. Air21 in Game 3 of the 2014 Commissioner's Cup semifinals.
- Arwind Santos moved past Mick Pennisi for No. 7 in the all-time three-point field goals leaderboard with 965 3s.
- San Miguel vs. NorthPort on Oct. 23 at the Cuneta Astrodome
- Columbian vs. Phoenix on Oct. 25 at the Smart Araneta Coliseum