Once again, June Mar Fajardo cast his huge shadow over TNT.
The reigning four-time MVP scored 35 points on top of 11 rebounds in powering San Miguel Beer over TNT, 106-93, Tuesday and into the PBA Philippine Cup semi-finals first at the Mall of Asia Arena.
Fellow starters Arwind Santos, Marcio Lassiter and Chris Ross also played key roles as the top-ranked Beermen did not let their win-once advantage over the eighth-seeded KaTropa go to waste.
As an additional result, coach Leo Austria got some form of present for his wife, who underwent a kidney transplant operation earlier in the day, making the five-time champion strategist antsy before the game.
“I never had any sleep last night because of my wife and I also knew this is going to be the hardest game we’d ever played against TNT,” said Austria.
The loss is a very bitter one for TNT, which had to beat NLEX at the end of their elimination round last Friday and Phoenix in their one-game playoff two days later just to earn the last quarterfinals ticket.
San Miguel 106 – Fajardo 35, Lassiter 20, Santos 15, Ross 13, Cabagnot 8, Heruela 5, Ganuelas-Rosser 4, De Ocampo 3, Pessumal 2, Espinas 1.
TNT 93 – Castro 19, Rosario 19, Pogoy 17, A. Semerad 16, Williams 15, Cruz 3, Torres 2, Garcia 2, Tautuaa 0, Paredes 0, Carey 0, Reyes 0.
Quarters: 31-23, 52-44, 77-72, 106-93.