THE San Miguel Beermen are through to the semifinals of the PBA Philippine Cup after sweeping the Northport Batang Pier in their best-of-three quarterfinal series with a 100-95 win in Game Two on Thursday in Pampanga. — PBA IMAGES

THE San Miguel Beermen knocked out the Northport Batang Pier to advance to the semifinal round of the Philippine Basketball Association (PBA) Philippine Cup.

San Miguel completed a sweep of Northport in their best-of-three quarterfinal series with a 100-95 victory in Game Two on Thursday at the Don Honorio Ventura State University Gym in Bacolor, Pampanga.

CJ Perez and Mo Tautuaa provided solid contributions from the bench to help the Beermen to the victory which thrust them to the best-of-seven semifinal series against top seeds TnT Tropang Giga.

While San Miguel had control of the contest for much of the time, Northport stayed close and gave itself a chance to win the game.

The Batang Pier made a last-ditch push at the end but the Beermen had an answer each time their opponents were making some headway to preserve the win and move a step closer to reclaiming the Philippine Basketball Association All-Filipino title.

Mr. Perez top-scored for San Miguel with 21 points, followed by Mr. Tautuaa who had 17.

Marcio Lassiter had 15, going 4-of-5 from beyond the arc, while June Mar Fajardo and Arwind Santos finished with double-doubles of 12 points and 12 rebounds, and 11 points and 13 boards, respectively.

For Northport, which finished the eliminations as the number five team, it was Greg Slaughter who led with 27 points to go along with 12 rebounds and three blocks.

Rookie Jamie Malonzo had 17 points and eight rebounds while Robert Bolick had a near-triple double of 12 points, eight rebounds and 14 assists.

“We wanted to finish the series right away and not send it to a do-or-die where anything can happen,” said San Miguel coach Leo Austria in the postgame press conference.

“We do not know yet when the semifinals will start, but we will just prepare for TnT which is a tough team and playing well,” he added.

Meanwhile, the Meralco Bolts and NLEX Road Warriors play in a do-or-die quarterfinal match on Friday at 6 p.m.

The Road Warriors escaped with an 81-80 victory against the twice-to-beat-armed Bolts on Wednesday to survive the first hurdle and send the series into a deciding contest.

Rookie Calvin Oftana was the hero in the NLEX victory, scoring the go-ahead layup in the dying seconds.

“Coming in, we wanted to keep the game close and give ourselves a chance to win in the game. And good thing it was exactly what happened. But we haven’t accomplished anything yet. We just extended the series and let’s see what happens in the next game,” said NLEX coach Yeng Guiao.

In the playoffs, Meralco is seeded second while NLEX is seventh. — Michael Angelo S. Murillo