PBA: San Miguel bounces back, beats Meralco
MANILA, Philippines–Raring to make up for a letdown of a debut, San Miguel Beer on Sunday fended off Meralco, 93-83, in the PBA Commissioner’s Cup at Smart Araneta Coliseum.
The Beermen came out the gates hard behind last-minute replacement import Ivan Aska and seven-time Most Valuable Player June Mar Fajardo, pulling out a wire-to-wire victory that had the club improving after an opening loss to NLEX last Wednesday.
“Ivan adjusted really well. The team needed an inside presence—which is why we got him. After just one game, he has already adjusted,” said head coach Jorge Gallent, whose wards snapped Meralco’s two-game winning streak.
Aska had 27 points and 13 rebounds for the Beermen. Fajardo posted 17 points and 15 rebounds while CJ Perez chipped in 16 points and six rebounds for a dominant show that saw the Beermen enjoy leads as big as 21 points.
Meralco pulled within 81-85 with 2:14 remaining behind a Chris Newsome triple, but playing assistant coach Chris Ross and Fajardo were swift in snuffing out the Bolts’ chances at a comeback.
Newsome led all of Meralco with 22 points, while import Suleiman Braimoh Jr. 15 points that went with 12 rebounds.
Raymond Almazan and Cliff Hodge both finished with at least 10 points each in the losing stand that will now leave one team undefeated after defending champion Ginebra and Magnolia’s clash in the nightcap.