Fajardo, Williams tow San Miguel over Rain or Shine
MANILA, Philippines — June Mar Fajardo was a force on both ends of the floor as San Miguel Beer edged Rain or Shine, 97-92, Friday night for its first win in the 2014 PBA Governors’ Cup at the Smart Araneta Coliseum.
The six-foot-10 Fajardo imposed his size and strength to post a career-high 28 points and a game-best 18 rebounds for the Beermen, who bounced back from a loss to the Alaska Aces last Sunday.
“Feels great to get a win over a team like Rain or Shine,” said SMB active consultant Todd Purves.
“I thought June Mar Fajardo looked like June Mar Fajardo not long ago when he was a dominant force. I’m real proud of the way we played and the level of aggressiveness he showed on both ends,” said Purves of his starting center, who played through injuries last conference.
Import Reggie Williams topscored with 29 points after dropping 42 in his PBA debut for San Miguel Beer, who was dragged into a dog fight in the second half after failing to maintain a double-digit lead it held in the second quarter.
“Reggie’s been wonderful. He has a high basketball IQ and he makes his teammates better. He is a very unselfish player,” Purves said of the ex-NBA veteran.
Fajardo and the former Oklahoma City Thunder guard Williams combined for 24 points in the final frame – matching the whole Elasto Painters’ output.
A Paul Lee 3-pointer knotted the count at 85 before Fajardo answered with a three-point play and Williams followed it up with a trey over Jeff Chan for a 91-87 Beermen lead with 2:24 left.
SMB guard Chris Ross, who collected 11 rebounds, five assists and five steals, scored all of his four points in the final 1:41 including two free throws that sealed the deal with 17.5 ticks left.
Former Best Import AZ Reid had 27 points and 18 boards but his efforts were still not enough to carry the Painters to their first win after two games.
Already playing minus the injured JR Quiñahan, ROS’ frontline went even thinner after Beau Belga and Raymond Almazan fouling out in the fourth quarter while defending against Fajardo.