PBA: Even sans Reid, Beermen pin loss on Aces
Even without an import, San Miguel Beer continued its mastery over Alaska with a 106-103 win in the 2016 PBA Governors’ Cup Wednesday night at Smart Araneta Coliseum.
Arizona Reid was sidelined with an Achilles injury but June Mar Fajardo, the reigning back-to-back MVP, was all the Beermen needed.
Fajardo played his best game of the conference, scoring 16 of his 37 points in the fourth quarter, where San Miguel Beer overcame a 91-81 deficit.
“It’s a huge, huge game for us because we were playing without an import. The good thing about playing without an import is that every player is challenged,” said SMB head coach Leo Austria.
Fajardo also ripped down 14 rebounds and rejected three shots in close to 37 minutes of action.
But Fajardo didn’t carry the Beermen by his lonesome with Alex Cabagnot and Chris Ross also having their moments.
Cabagnot drained two triples in a row to put San Miguel ahead, 102-99, with 1:30 left and after three free throws by Fajardo put the Beermen back up by three, 106-103, Ross froze the final count with a block on Aces import LaDontae Henton’s potential game-tying three as time expired.
Henton got his way and finished with 45 points and 15 rebounds in over 45 minutes on the floor, but understandably had nothing left to give in the waning seconds after missing a couple of jumpers including the one denied by the smaller but equally quick Ross.
San Miguel now owns a 6-0 record against the Alaska dating back to the 2016 Philippine Cup Finals where the Beermen won four consecutive games after trailing 0-3.
The Beermen joined the Barangay Ginebra Kings and Mahindra Enforcer in three-way tie for second place at 5-2.
Fajardo’s scoring output was his highest since dropping a career-high 43 points also against Alaska two conferences ago.
The Aces slipped to 10th place with a 2-5 card.
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