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Fajardo, Heruela lead San Miguel rally to fend off GlobalPort

/ 09:28 PM January 24, 2018

Photo by Tristan Tamayo/INQUIRER.net

San Miguel Beer needed a late run to beat GlobalPort, 107-93, and stay undefeated in the 2018 PBA Philippine Cup Wednesday night at Smart Araneta Coliseum.

June Mar Fajardo and Brian Heruela led an 18-0 surge in the last 5:10 by the Beermen, who turned a two-point deficit into a 101-85 advantage with 1:36 left.

“I’m really expecting this kind of game against GlobalPort because they’re playing really well,” said SMB head coach Leo Austria after his squad rose to 5-0. “Besides, one of our super five Alex Cabagnot, did not play due to a foot injury.”

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Heruela, who came off the bench and stepped up in the absence of starting guard Alex Cabagnot, sparked the telling run with a layup before Fajardo finished it by scoring six straight points.

The two Cebuanos, who were also teammates in college, accounted for 16 of the Beermen’s 18 points during the stretch. Fajardo finished with 34 points, 13 rebounds and three blocks while Heruela collected 17 points, five assists and six steals.

“I’m so happy tonight because of my players off the bench, especially Heruela. He stole the show from June Mar, Arwind (Santos) and Marcio Lassiter,” Austria said.

GlobalPort stayed in step with San Miguel up until the last five minutes when the Beermen broke loose.

The Batang Pier even got the headstart, leading by as much as 11, 14-3, early in the first quarter before the Beermen came back. The game was as competitive as it gets as it saw 44 lead changes with the last, 85-87, at the 4:34 mark courtesy of a basket by Fajardo.

Stanley Pringle had 23 points but turned the ball over seven times for GlobalPort, which slid to 2-3.

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TAGS: 2018 Philippine Cup, Alex Cabagnot, Brian Heruela, Globalport Batang Pier, June Mar Fajardo, PBA, San Miguel Beermen, Stanley Pringle
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