San Miguel bucked the absence of Dez Wells and leaned on an all-Filipino crew led by June Mar Fajardo to outlast a gritty Blackwater squad in overtime, 99-96, Wednesday night in the 2019 PBA Governor’s Cup at the Cuneta Astrodome.
Fajardo poured in 30 points and hauled down 13 boards to power the Grand Slam-chasing team to its 6th win of the season-ending conference against 3 defeats. The much-needed win arrested a two-game slide and propped up the Beermen to solo 4th place in the team standings just below NLEX (7-1), TNT (7-1) and Meralco (6-2).
Wells suffered an ankle sprain during the team’s game against Meralco two Sundays ago and came to the match in street clothes.
“For us it’s nice to bounce back from two straight lossses. Even though it was an ugly win, a win is a win,” said San Miguel coach Leo Austria who was obviously far from pleased with the close win over the worst-placed team in the league.
“We really need this because we still have a chance to get into the top four. But with our game we have to realize that the next few games are important for us and we have to step up. We should have a lot of energy and effort for us to get to the top four,” he added.
Terrence Romeo finished with 20 points highlighted by three triples while Arwind Santos contributed 13 points and 9 rebounds. Marcio Lassiter and Alex Cabagnot chipped in 11 and 8 points, respectively.
Mac Belo paced the Elite with 25 points while Marqus Blakely added 24 points and 18 rebounds.
The Beermen’s next assignement will be on Saturday, November 9 against Rain or Shine at the Hoops Dome Gym in Lapu-Lapu City, Cebu.
San Miguel 99 – Fajardo 30, Romeo 20, Santos 13; Lassiter 11, Cabagnot 8, Pessumal 7, Nabong 6, Tautuaa 4, Rosser 0, Ross 0.
Blackwater 96 – Belo 25, Blakely 24, Trollano 14, Canaleta 13, Cruz 8, Javier 6, Tolomia 4, Sumang 2, Dario 0, Desiderio 0, Cruz 0, Al-Hussaini 0, Salem 0.
Quarterscores: 11-16, 34-37, 64-62, 88-88, 99-96 (OT).