SAN MIGUEL BEER welcomed June Mar Fajardo’s return with a bang before playoff time.
Bennie Boatwright sustained his huge scoring ways firing away 44 points and collecting 12 rebounds as the Beermen defeated Blackwater, 125-117, on Friday to clinch a twice-to-beat quarterfinal incentive in Season 48 Philippine Basketball Association Commissioner’s Cup.
The 6-foot-11 center Fajardo, who just recovered from a left hand injury last November 29, played for 33 minutes, filled the stats sheet with 11 points, nine rebounds, six assists, a steal and a block that wowed Boatwright.
“He makes my job easy because he’s such a great passer. Whenever he gets the ball inside, they have to double him or go into a zone. So I just have to face out and he’ll find me,” Boatwright said, who posted also five assists.
“He finds everybody and if they don’t he can’t go one on one and that’s hard to stop. June Mar is a force to reckon with.”
Despite threatening the Beermen down the stretch, 106-107, behind Chris Ortiz’s 17 fourth quarter points with 6:27 to go, San Miguel Beer banked on Fajardo, Ross, Don Trollano and Boatwright to reestablish an 11-point cushion, 117-106, with only a few minutes left before the buzzer sounded.
San Miguel Beer ended the elimination round with an 8-3 record to place No. 3 with a twice-to-beat advantage, while the Bossing fell to the bottom with 1-10 record after suffering their tenth straight setback.
CJ Perez scored 15 points while Terrence Romeo added 14 points and Jericho Cruz made 12 points. Trollano finished with 10 points also for the Beermen.
“We just relaxed. But at the end of it, they stayed composed, and when it went to one they knew where to go. I’m very blessed with these players because they know what to do in crunch time,” SMB coach Jorge Gallent said.
Blackwater import Chris Ortiz scattered 43 points, pulled down 15 rebounds and had five assists.
Meanwhile, Meralco beat Terrafirma, 109-102, to keep its flickering twice-to-beat quarterfinals bid alive also with an 8-3 slate, tying the Beermen from fourth to fifth.
Shonn Miller exploded for 29 points and grabbed 21 rebounds for the Bolts.
The Dyip dropped to 2-9 record.
Image credits: Rudy Esperas
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