PBA: San Miguel bounces back, downs Blackwater


San Miguel fended off a pesky Blackwater squad late to take a 93-83 victory Wednesday in the 2016 Smart Bro PBA Philippine Cup at Philsports Arena.

Reigning two-time MVP June Mar Fajardo starred with 20 points, 13 rebounds, and two blocks while Marcio Lassiter also got 20 markers, nine boards, and five assists.

Alex Cabagnot also came alive in the second half, scoring all of his 15 points in the last two quarters, and strung it with four rebounds and four dimes. Arwind Santos had 10.

“We knew it won’t be an easy game for us. We’re happy that we bounced back hard in this game,” said coach Leo Austria, as his Beermen rebounded from their 99-84 defeat to Rain or Shine last week. “Kami ang unang tinalo (ng Blackwater last season) and (our guys) realized na this team should not be taken for granted because they have a decent lineup right now.”

A nip-and-tuck game saw both teams trade leads, with Blackwater closing the gap in the final four minutes to just three points, 84-81. That was when the Beermen took it up a notch and closed the game on a 9-2 run behind the efforts of Cabagnot, Fajardo, and Ronald Tubid.

The win was just the much-needed morale boost for San Miguel, which braces for the challenge that is Greg Slaughter and Ginebra on Sunday.

JP Erram paced Blackwater with 23 points and eight rebounds while the Elite could not replicate its upset of Meralco just a week ago.

Mike Cortez added 15 markers, as Bambam Gamalinda and Carlo Lastimosa both finished with 14.

The Scores:

SAN MIGUEL 93 – Fajardo 20, Lassiter 20, Cabagnot 15, Santos 10, Tubid 9, Espinas 8, Reyes 3, Arana 2, De Ocampo 2, Heruela 2, Lutz 2, Ross 0.
BLACKWATER 83 – Erram 23, Cortez 15, Gamalinda 14, Lastimosa 14, Dela Cruz 4, Sena 4, Canada 2, Cervantes 2, Reyes 2, Vosotros 2, Melano 1, Agovida 0, Ballesteros 0.
Quarters: 24-19, 44-44, 72-70, 93-83.


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@RLeongsonINQ

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