San Miguel lost a huge 22-point lead but hang tough in the face of a fiery Meralco comeback, 103-97, for its second straight win in the PBA Philippine Cup Wednesday night.
The Beermen rode on the scoring exploits of Alex Cabagnot and four-time MVP June Mar Fajardo to thwart a huge second half run by the Bolts sparked by the hot three-point shooting of sophomore guard Mike Tolomia and seldom-used big man Ken Bono.
Cabagnot finished with a game-high 29 points, while Fajardo scored 13 of his 26 points in the fourth quarter as the Beermen raised their record at 2-0 for a share of the early lead with idle NLEX.
Fajardo also went 12 of 17 from the field and added nine rebounds.
Coach Leo Austria admitted the experience was a great lesson for the three-time defending champions.
“That’s the tendency usually of players, human nature, e. They thought it’s going to be an easy ride. But it’s not,” he said in the post-game interview at the Ynares Center here.
San Miguel 103 – Cabagnot 29, Fajardo 26, Lassiter 18, Pessumal 11, Ross 9, Santos 8, Mamaril 9, Lanete 0, Heruela 0, Rosser 0.
Meralco 97 – Tolomia 21, Canaleta 17, Hugnatan 16, Newsome 13, Lanete 10, Bono 8, Amer 7, Baracael 2, Ballesteros 2, Caram 1, Faundo 0, Sedurifa 0, Salva 0.
Quarters: 30-18, 59-41, 81-73, 103-97