SMB wins 3rd straight
San Miguel Beer continued its rise out of a poor start to the tournament, getting huge contributions from two of its stars to forge a 129-117 victory over Columbian on Wednesday night in the PBA Commissioner’s Cup at Smart Araneta Coliseum.
Alex Cabagnot came through with a triple-double while reigning four-time MVP June Mar Fajardo added a monster double-double as the Beermen won their third straight game after a three-game slide to even their record to 3-3.
“I wasn’t really keeping count but I’m just glad we won,” Cabagnot said after compiling 20 points, 10 rebounds and 10 assists for the Beermen.
Fajardo netted 37 points and grabbed 18 rebounds, flashing an aggressive game right at the get-go because “we really needed to win this one.”
Almost a nonfactor in offense for most of the game, Henry Walker saved the best shot of the night for last in the earlier game.
Walker zipped through an opening in the middle of the lane and went straight for an emphatic slam in the dying seconds as Blackwater finally chalked up its first win of the tournament at the expense of Magnolia, 86-84.
The Elite bench jumped for joy after that jam with 3.4 seconds remaining and Blackwater coach Bong Ramos punched the air with both fists as they celebrated the breakthrough triumph after losing their first seven games.
“We are improving little by little every game. At least, there’s something positive happening in this team,” said Ramos, who replaced Leo Isaac prior to the start of the conference to turn Blackwater’s ordeal around.
Walker, still visibly off peak form in just his second game for the Elite, was four of 16 from the field and finished with 11 points and eight rebounds in a no-relief performance.
But none of his 12 misses from the field mattered in the end after he eluded Curtis Kelly off the dribble, drove down the middle in the dying seconds and soared above Rafi Reavis for the rim-rattler.
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