Marcio Lassiter of San Miguel takes a three-pointer over Christian Standhardinger of NorthPort. (PBA Images)

Defending champion San Miguel Beer finished its elimination round campaign on a high note Tuesday night with a 120-99 rout of NorthPort in the PBA Philippine Cup at the Angeles University Foundation Sports and Cultural Center.

Arwind Santos had 23 points, 11 rebounds and seven assists while Marcio Lassiter and Mo Tautuaa scored 21 points apiece as the Beermen came back in the second quarter before building a commanding lead after halftime to head into the quarterfinals with a 7-4 record.

SMB wrapped up the elims with back-to-back wins that started by ripping Barangay Ginebra San Miguel 81-66 last Sunday.

The only thing unsettled at the moment is SMB’s position in the quarters which will be known after Wednesday’s quadrupleheader to wrap up the elims.

San Miguel is still in contention for a twice-to-beat advantage given to the top four teams and a quotient system is going to determine if coach Leo Austria’s boys had done enough to gain a favorable seeding in the quarters.

“What is important for us is we’re able to win our last two games because it could give us a chance to make it to the top four,” said Austria.

Kelly Nabong, facing his former team for the first time, scored 29 points but NorthPort dropped to a 1-9 record.

Nabong almost triggered an altercation during garbage time when he picked up a Flagrant 1 foul on Santos, who wasn’t too pleased with the contact that almost led to an awkward landing.

Santos tried to confront Nabong in what looked like a reprisal of SMB’s heated exchange during a practice last season involving both players. But cooler heads were able to restrain Santos.

Von Pessumal added 15 points, Bam Gamalinda scored 12 and Alex Cabagnot added 11 points, five rebounds, six assists and two steals in almost 20 minutes.

The scores:

SAN MIGUEL 120 — Santos 23, Tautuaa 21, Lassiter 21, Pessumal 15, Gamalinda 12, Cabagnot 11, Zamar 9, Comboy 5, Alolino 2, Escoto 1, Ross 0, Mamaril 0, De Guzman 0.

NORTHPORT 99 — Nabong 29, Taha 16, Elorde 14, Cruz 12, Standhardinger 10, Subido 6, Manganti 5, Ferrer 5, Guinto 2, Revilla 0.

Quarters: 24-30, 57-47, 100-76, 120-99.

Source: Manila Bulletin (