Boatwright leads San Miguel Beermen to destruction of Dyip | Inquirer Sports

Boatwright leads San Miguel Beermen to destruction of Dyip

And with lightweight Blackwater as last foe, San Miguel has lock on a playoff bonus
/ 04:30 AM January 08, 2024

San Miguel Beermen import Bennie Boatwright.–MARLO CUETO/

San Miguel Beermen import Bennie Boatwright.–MARLO CUETO/

San Miguel Beer has reasons to be confident going into the PBA Commissioner’s Cup quarterfinals with the twice-to-beat almost locked up and its new import coming up with a gaudy offensive output on Sunday that more than validated management’s decision to make a switch.

But what also excites coach Jorge Gallent is the impending return of June Mar Fajardo, who, despite sitting out the Beermen’s 132-110 win over the Terrafirma Dyip at Smart Araneta Coliseum had already been placed on the active roster.

“That’s very good for our team,” Gallent said as the Beermen improved to 7-3, needing to beat another cellar-dweller in the Blackwater Bossing later this week to snare the quarterfinal incentive.


Fajardo has been out since fracturing his left hand in a game against Rain or Shine last month, though his absence seems to have little effect in San Miguel’s recent form as the Beermen won for the fourth straight time.

And having Fajardo back anytime soon, maybe as early as the Blackwater duel on Friday at the Big Dome, could spell the difference in San Miguel’s drive to wrest the title in only import-laden competition of the 2023-24 season.

“June Mar’s been recovering well. If the doctors give him a go signal, I think he can play in our last game [of the eliminations], so we’ll see what they’ll say about June Mar’s [condition],” said Gallent.

There’s curiosity as to how San Miguel plays with Fajardo sharing the paint with Boatwright, who in his second game since replacing Ivan Aska put up 51 points with a combination of inside scoring and outside shooting.


Boatwright was 19-for-31 from the field, including seven three-pointers, and became the first San Miguel import to register at least 50 points since Shabazz Muhammad’s 57 back in the 2022 Governors’ Cup.

“I’ve been hearing about the tradition of this team, its accolades in the past and I’m excited to be a part of and make a run at the playoffs,” said Boatwright after also having 12 rebounds, three assists and two blocks for the Beermen.


Fancied over Bossing

San Miguel’s currently in a tight battle for the three twice-to-beat incentives up for grabs, with teams tied at 7-2 in Phoenix and Meralco, which the previous day outlasted leader Magnolia, 85-80, in Iloilo City.

Barangay Ginebra and NorthPort were playing at presstime, the former holding a 6-3 record and the latter having a 6-4 slate.

For the Beermen, an unlikely loss to the Bossing to close the eliminations could endanger their hold of the quarterfinal bonus.

Don Trollano added 22 points and Terrence Romeo posted 12 points and seven assists, but San Miguel lost backup center Rodney Brondial to a foot injury in the first half. Jeron Teng did make his return after being out for eight games, which now gives the Beermen additional depth amid injuries that hounded them in classification.

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Terrafirma, already eliminated from playoff contention for the 16th straight conference, dropped to 2-8 after a seventh consecutive defeat. INQ

TAGS: Basketball, PBA, Sports

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