The San Miguel Beermen got back on the winning track after being beaten senselessly by the smaller Magnolia Hotshots in Game 3 to level the championship series at 2-games apiece, Wednesday night at the Smart Araneta Coliseum.
Newly crowned 2019 Philippine Cup Best Player June Mar Fajardo presided over the Beermen’s vaunted offense as the defending champs avoided going down a 1-3 hole by posting a 114-98 Game 4 victory which turned the series into a best-of-three affair.
Fajardo, who bagged his 6th straight Philippine Cup Best Player of the Conference award and 8th overall before the game, threw his weight around the Magnolia bigs and finished with a game-high 31 points and 14 rebounds.
The 6-foot-10 native of Pinamungajan Cebu almost had perfect shooting night as he missed only 1 from the field (13/14) and 1 from the stripe (5/6) as well.
San Miguel coach Leo Austria commended the effort and improved shooting of his players.
“This is the kind of game we are a looking for. From start to finish, we were able to sustain our energy. It’s a matter of effort and we were able to score a lot in the shaded area. That’s the time na nakaka-shoot yung players namin from the perimeter unlike in our last game,” said Austria.
Terrence Romeo backstopped Fajardo with 18 points on 3 of 5 shooting from long distance. Chris Ross contributed 15 while Christian Standhardinger and Arwind Santos added 13 and 12, respectively.
The backcourt tandem of Mark Barroca and Jio Jalalon led the Hotshots with 22 markers each while Ian Sangalang had 19 points and 11 boards.
San Miguel 114 – Fajardo 31, Romeo 18, Ross 15, Standhardinger 13, Santos 12, Cabagnot 11, Lassiter 6, Rosser 3, Pessumal 3, Nabong 2.
Magnolia 98 – Barroca 22, Jalalon 22, Sangalang 19, Reavis 9, Lee 7, Herndon 6, Dela Rosa 5, Calisaan 4, Melton 2, Brondial 2, Ramos 0, Pascual 0.
Quarterscores: 25-27; 56-47; 87-77; 114-98.