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San Miguel nips NLEX

Defending champion San Miguel came out smoking yesterday, firing 43 first-quarter points before scoring a 124-116 win over NLEX in the Philippine Basketball Association Commissioner’s Cup at the Mall of Asia Arena.

The Beermen’s explosion in the first 12 minutes of play was the most made by any team this season and it was done without six-time Most Valuable Player June Mar Fajardo, who is still recovering from throat surgery.

But it was Lassiter, who started to get things going for the Beermen as he sparked the team’s onslaught by firing 6-of-7 triples in the first quarter alone before Vic Manuel, Jericho Cruz and import Devon Scott took over.

“I’m just trying to be aggressive every night, trying to look for my shots,” said Lassiter, who only averaged less than seven points per game prior to his breakout performance.

Lassiter’s excellent display from downtown is the highest in a quarter in recent memory.

He ended up finishing with 7-of-9 shots from beyond the arc and finished with 22 points.

Lassiter’s torrid shooting brought back memories of Allan Caidic, who set the record for the most number of triples at 17 while also scoring the most points by a local player in a game with 79 points on 21 November 1991 while playing for Presto.

Ren-Ren Ritualo previously set the greatest number of treys in a quarter, hitting 8-of-9 shots, on April 26, 2005 during FedEx Express’ 116-106 win over Red Bull Barako, according to PBA head of stats Fidel Mangonon III.

For Lassiter, shooting treys at practice was routine.

“I treated it as vitamins,” said Lassiter. “I just take my daily vitamins to shoot my treys and my form shooting. I just tried to stay disciplined and prepared,” he said.

“I wanted to have that visualization of the game and brings it to the game. Everyday, I work on my form shooting and get a couple of shots and make sure I continue to get the feel if the rhythm,” said the 35-year-old California-born shooter.

Manuel also tallied 22 points in one of his better games as a Beerman.

Playing in his second game, Scott flirted with a triple-double performance as he pumped in 26 points, 10 rebounds and seven assists to propel the Beermen to their second win in five games.


The scores:

San Miguel (124) — Scott 26, Lassiter 22, Manuel 22, Perez 16, Cruz 15, Tautuaa 14, Herndon 6, Ross 3, Enciso 0, Brondial 0.

NLEX (116) — Clark 40, Chua 23, Trollano 21, Nieto 12, Alas 10, Miranda 3, Fonacier 3, Varilla 2, Ganuelas-Rosser 2.

Quarters: 43-35; 65-57; 95-90; 124-116.

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