San Miguel loses to Japan’s Ryukyu by 28 points in EASL
UTSUNOMIYA — What was expected to be a nip-and-tuck affair turned into another blowout loss for the Philippine delegation to the East Asia Super League Champions Week.
Its cornerstone plucked away from the game halfway barely five minutes into the contest, San Miguel Beer found itself in an early hole and never recovered against Ryukyu, 96-68, in the two clubs’ respective debuts Thursday at Nikkan Arena here.
June Mar Fajardo, the PBA’s six-time Most Valuable Player asked to be subbed out at the 5:11 mark of the first quarter after colliding with Golden Kings import Jack Cooley.
And it turned out to be the opening the B.League runners-up needed.
Keita Imamura, import Allen Durham and Cooley joined hands in a second-quarter attack that took the wind out of a Fajardo-less crew. They went on to build a 31-cushion that they nurtured the rest of the way.
Cameron Clark led the way for San Miguel with 25 points, while CJ Perez added 12 in the loss that came after TNT’s 33-point clobbering at the hands of host Utsunomiya the night before.
San Miguel coach Jorge Gallent has ruled out Fajardo for the remainder of the tournament.
Jessie Govan, the Beermen’s other import, had seven points while Simon Enciso added six more in the losing stand.
Imamura and Cooley had 20 each for Ryukyu while Durham, a former PBA import, had 13 to give the Japan teams a good account of themselves in the five-day showcase.
San Miguel plays Anyang KGC next on Saturday in Okinawa.