San Miguel Beer was quick to make up for lost time as it barged in the knockout stage of the Philippine Basketball Association 3×3 Leg 5 Second Conference on Saturday at Robinsons Place Novaliches.
With diminutive Jeff Manday at the helm, the Beermen swept their way to the quarterfinals with wins over Blackwater (21-15) and multi-titled TNT Tropang Giga (21-19) in Pool D.
The Beermen haven’t made the playoffs the previous three legs, including finishing last in Leg 4 a week ago.
Joining San Miguel in the next round are J&T Express and Meralco Bolts in Pool C.
The Express whipped Terrafirma, 19-12, while the Bolts scored an 18-12 victory over the Dyip, thereby eliminating Terrafirma for a playoffs berth.
Five more quarterfinals slots are being disputed as of press time
Other early winners in pool play were Leg 4 winner Platinum Karaoke and Pioneer Elastoseal in Pool A and Cavitex and Barangay Ginebra in Pool B, respectively.
Platinum kicked off its bid for a back-to-back leg title with a close 19-17 win over Pioneer, while the Elastoseal beat NorthPort Batang Pier, 21-14.
The Braves, meanwhile, downed Barangay Ginebra, 19-14, but the Kings bounced back with a 17-14 victory over Purefoods TJ Titans.
The knockout phase will be played Sunday, with the lone surviving team winning the P100,000 top purse.