Beermen send Elite crashing | Inquirer Sports

Beermen send Elite crashing

By: - Reporter / @MusongINQ
/ 12:25 AM January 07, 2017

San Miguel Beermen.

San Miguel Beermen

San Miguel Beer coach Leo Austria likes the way his Beermen are peaking, and heading into their blockbuster match with Barangay Ginebra tomorrow, he’s worried about just one thing.

The Beermen blew a second straight PBA Philippine Cup foe last night and with a top two berth in the playoffs just two more victories away, Austria feels that having very little time to prepare is the only disadvantage they have when they clash with the Gin Kings.


June Mar Fajardo scored 25 points that went with eight rebounds and five assists as San Miguel turned up the heat early and never let up, scoring a 118-93 ripping of Blackwater at Mall of Asia Arena in Pasay to rise to 6-1 and gather all the momentum it needs heading into the homestretch of its elimination round schedule.


“We just hope that we could sustain it,” Austria said of the Beermen’s hot form that had San Miguel leading by as much as 29 points and putting the game to bed as early as the third period. “We are peaking slowly, and that’s a good sign.”

Austria has started playing his second stringers more and played a total of 14 men against the Elite.

Gabby Espinas came off the bench to shoot 22 points and Alex Cabagnot found his protective mask to be a perfect fit and shot 14 in starting out at the shooting guard spot.

“I told him that I won’t force him to play, but he insisted,” Austria said of Cabagnot, who was reported (not in the Inquirer) to be out for this game because of a nasal stress fracture. “He told me [before the game]: ‘coach, I know the plays, I’m ready.’”

GlobalPort kept its poise this time around to trip Meralco and get back on the winning track, with a 97-89 victory over the Bolts—giving coach Franz Pumaren the opportunity to dream on.

“It’s free to dream,” Pumaren said with a boyish smile as he stressed that he and his Batang Pier are targeting a No. 2 finish after the eliminations, even if they will be closing out the round against four rock-solid foes—three of them ahead of GlobalPort in the standings.


“Mahihina lang naman last four games namin (we’ll be up against weak opponents in our last four games),” Pumaren said in jest as he rattled out NLEX, Rain or Shine, defending champion San Miguel Beer and TNT KaTropa as the Batang Pier’s final elimination round games.

“I would be a hypocrite if I say that we are not [targeting No. 2],” he said as GlobalPort rose to 4-3 after snapping a two-game slide and staying just a full game behind second-running TNT and the Elasto Painters, who both tote 4-2 cards.


Globalport 97 – Meralco 89

GLOBALPORT 97—Romeo 27, Cañaleta 13, Mamaril 12, Cortez 12, Quiñahan 11, Pringle 9, Aban 9, Mierhofer 2, Paredes 2, Banal 0, Urbiztondo 0, Pessumal 0.

MERALCO 89—Hugnatan 23, Grey 18, Newsome 16, Hodge 12, Daquioag 12, Buenafe 3, Faundo 2, Caram 2, Amer 1, Uyloan 0, Nabong 0, Ferriols 0.

Quarters: 26-19, 51-41, 72-71, 97-89

San Miguel 118 – Blackwater 93

SAN MIGUEL 118—Fajardo 25, Espinas 22, Cabagnot 14, Lassiter 14, Santos 8, Reyes 8, Tubid 8, Van Opstal 6, Ross 4, Garcia 4, Agovida 3, Heruela 2, McCarthy 0, Mabulac 0.

BLACKWATER 93—Dela Cruz 16, Aguilar 15, Pinto 12, Sumang 11, Buenafe 10, Forrester 7, Sena 6, Cervantes 4, Pascual 4, Belo 4, Miranda 2, Ababou 0, Banal 0.

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Quarters: 37-21, 65-40, 91-66, 118-93

TAGS: Barangay Ginebra, Beermen, Leo Austria, PBA, PBA Philippine Cup

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