San Miguel defeats TNT to snap a five-game slump; Jericho Cruz is dismissed for striking Paul Varilla with a knee

Jul 8, 2023

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By defeating Talk ‘N Text, 111-74, on Friday in the PBA on Tour preseason tournament at the Ynares Sports Arena in Pasig, San Miguel earned its first victory after five losses.

The Beermen received a tremendous boost from Marvin Lee, Allyn Bulanadi, and Jericho Cruz despite still missing superstars June Mar Fajardo and CJ Perez.

Lee led San Miguel in scoring with 22 points, followed by Bulanadi (20) and Cruz (20).

In contrast, Rodney Brondial dominated the boards for the Beermen, pulling down 13 boards in addition to his 17 points.

San Miguel controlled TNT while scoring 26 points less after a competitive first quarter to lead 55-36 at halftime.

In the third session, the Beermen kept up the slaughter and increased their deficit to 41 points. After that, the understaffed Tropang GIGA never recovered.

The 30-point explosion for TNT by Fred Tungcab was ineffective.

However, an altercation between Cruz and Paul Varilla of TNT tainted San Miguel’s victory.

During a third-quarter struggle for ball possession, Cruz was captured kneeing Varilla. He was dismissed from the game after receiving a severe foul penalty of two.

The incident took place as Cruz and Varilla fought for control of the lost ball.

When things become too aggressive, Cruz struck Varilla with his knee as the TNT guard was slouched on the floor of the Ynares Sports Arena.

For an outright ejection, he was later given a flagrant foul penalty of two.

Cruz was sent off with San Miguel leading 67-52 and the guard for San Miguel Beer had already scored 20 points.

The Scores

San Miguel 111 – Lee 22, Bulanadi 20, Cruz 20, Brondial 17, Javelona 9, Dela Cruz 6, Faundo 6, De Vera 3, Apacible 2, Lazarte 2, Baclao 4.

TNT 74 – Tungcab 30, Cruz 21, Alfaro 8, Jopia 5, Varilla 4, Montalbo 4, Marcelo 2, Cuntapay 0.

Quarter scores: 29-23; 55-36; 83-56; 111-74.

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