The newly-minted champions of the Philippine Cup opened the 2019 Commissioner’s Cup on a very disappointing note, a 33-point beating at the hands of a NorthPort team missing the services of its main gunner Stanley Pringle, Wednesday night at the Smart Araneta Coliseum.
As per the league’s head statistician Fidel Mangonon III, this was the San Miguel Beermen’s worst defeat in 8 years, or since the team fell to the SMART Gilas Pilipinas by 41 points, 109-68, in the elimination round of the 2011 Commissioner’s Cup.
Against other PBA teams, the worst ever was a 35-point loss to Brgy. Ginebra in Game 4 of the 2007 Philippine Cup Finals.
The Beermen were able to keep in step with the Batang Pier up until the end of the first canto but started to relax in the following period. NorthPort turned on the heat in the 2nd half and went on to lead by as much as 38 points before settling for a 121-88 victory.
June Mar Fajardo, last conference’s Best Player awardee, offered no excuses and admitted that the team just played lousy basketball.
“Talo talaga. Sobrang pangit ng laro namin. Walang excuse,” said the league’s only five-time MVP.
“Dismayado lahat. Galit sila coach at ang mga boss namin. Pangit ang game na ito at isa ito sa pinaka-worst namin,” added Fajardo who finished with 19 points, 5 rebounds and 3 blocks.
Despite the demoralizing defeat, Fajardo remains upbeat that the powerhouse team can regain its bearings in the following games.
“First game pa lang namin. Makakabawi pa naman kami siguro, pero kailangang galingan na lang namin next game. Kailangan namin mag-bounce back kasi sobrang short lang ng conference na ito. Every win counts.”
Up next for the Beermen are the TNT KaTropa on Saturday, June 8 at the Ynares Center in Antipolo.