Fajardo is named Player of the Game after a 20-point, 6-rebound, 3-block performance
Published 7:53 PM, January 13, 2018
Updated 7:54 PM, January 13, 2018
STILL UNBEATEN. The 3-time defending champion San Miguel Beermen have yet to be toppled in the 2018 Philippine Cup. Photo by PBA Images
MANILA, Philippines – In a good, old-fashioned slugfest, the San Miguel Beermen silenced the TNT KaTropa, 88-76, at the University of San Agustin Gym, Iloilo City, Saturday, January 13.
As a treat for the Iloilo fans in the new season’s first out-of-town game, the powerhouse squads went neck-and-neck until the end of the first half, where TNT held the lead by a single point, 36-35.
The two teams ran pretty much the same script for much of the third quarter, until Kelly Williams broke free for the TNT fastbreak to put up a two-possession lead, 47-41. However, that hole was quickly plugged by SMB one stop at a time and again put themselves within striking distance entering the fourth, trailing only by 3.
An Alex Cabagnot three to open the final period started a sudden 7-0 attack punctuated by a fastbreak lay-in by June Mar Fajardo to put the Beermen up, 65-61. To no one’s surprise, Troy Rosario and Moala Tautuaa quickly answered to tie the game up 65-all.
No team never led more than one possession until the last 3 minutes, when Arwind Santos sank a midrange jumper to put SMB up 78-74. Then Cabagnot found himself effectively ending the game the same way he started the 4th quarter, with a pull-up three to extend the lead to 6, 81-74. To add insult to injury, Santos pulled up a 3 of his own and broke out for an easy jam with less than a minute left to formally seal the deal.
Marcio Lassiter still drained an unnecessary layup to extend the lead to 12, prompting TNT head coach Nash Racela to call an unnecessary 30-second timeout in response. No harm done in the end though as Racela and SMB head coach Leo Austria shook hands and laughed it off.
Fajardo was named the Player of the Game after a 20-point, 6-rebound, 3-block performance.
The Beermen continue their streak as the only undefeated team left in the PBA with a 3-0 win-loss slate. TNT moves down to a five-team tie at 1-2.
San Miguel (88): Fajardo 20, Santos 15, Lassiter 15, Cabagnot 11, Ganuelas-Rosser 8, Pessumal 7, Ross 5, Heruela 5, De Ocampo 2, Mamaril 0, Lanete 0, Semerad 0
TNT (76): Rosario 15, Tautuaa 12, Pogoy 11, Castro 9, Williams 9, Garcia 9, Semerad 6, Reyes 5, Onwubere 0, Golla 0, Carey 0, Torres 0
Quarter scores: 14-24, 35-36, 58-61, 88-76.