PBA: Bay Area Dragons rout June Mar Fajardo-less San Miguel Beer
MANILA, Philippines—Guest team Bay Area pounced on a San Miguel Beer side that played minus June Mar Fajardo and bounced back from its first-ever setback with a convincing 113-87 win in the PBA Commissioner’s Cup on Sunday at Smart Araneta Coliseum.
Andrew Nicholson proved his worth in his second straight appearance, putting 25 of his 39 points in the first half to help power the Dragons to their fifth win in six matches at the expense of this season’s Philippine Cup champions.
Bay Area got back to its winning ways after bowing to Barangay Ginebra, 111-93, last October 9 at Philsports Arena in Pasig City. It was the Dragons’ first defeat since arriving in the country, including nine tune-up matches.
“We learned from the loss which was nice to see and we got better against a quality team,” said Dragons coach Brian Goorjian.
Nicholson, who sat out the first four games of the conference with guard Myles Powell playing the import role, showed the same first-half form he showed against Ginebra, only this time allowing Bay Area to race to a commanding lead that served as a big blow for San Miguel.
Hayden Blankley, Zhu Songwei, Kobey Lam, 7-foot-5 Liu Chuanxing and Duncan Reid backstopped Nicholson during the contest that saw the Dragons lead by as much as 30.
San Miguel fell to 1-2 after playing minus Fajardo, who last Thursday underwent surgery on his throat after receiving an inadvertent elbow from Rain or Shine import Steve Taylor Jr. in last week’s 113-105 win.
Import Diamond Stone, among those tasked to fill up Fajardo’s shoes, only had 11 points despite grabbing 14 rebounds for the Beermen.
BAY AREA 113 — Nicholson 39, Blankley 17, Zhu 16, Lam 16, Liu 12, Reid 6, Song 3, Ju 2, Ewing 2, Zheng 0, Yang 0, Si 0, Liang 0.
SAN MIGUEL 87 — Perez 19, Manuel 15, Stone 11, Enciso 9, Tautuaa 9, Cruz 8, Lassiter 7, Brondial 4, Zamar 3, Ross 2, Herndon 0, Canete 0.
Quarters: 28-17, 58-40, 86-58, 113-87.