Beermen beat Fuel Masters in season opener | INQUIRER.net
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Beermen beat Fuel Masters in season opener

09:07 PM December 17, 2017

Photo by Tristan Tamayo/INQUIRER.net

With a fourth straight all-Filipino title in mind, San Miguel opened its 2018 PBA Philippine Cup campaign with a gritty 104-96 victory over Phoenix Sunday at Smart Araneta Coliseum.

Proving why they have been the benchmark in the first conference over the past three seasons, the Beermen drew huge contributions from their fancied starting five all game long.

SMB put the game away thanks to an 18-4 blast that turned a close 85-80 lead to a decisive 103-84 lead with 2:41 to play.

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Reigning four-time PBA MVP June Mar Fajardo was unsurprisingly stellar once again, firing 23 points, 16 rebounds, four assists, and four blocks in the opening day win.

Alex Cabagnot also added 22 markers, four assists, and two boards, while Marcio Lassiter unloaded 10 of his 20 points in the fourth period as he shot 4-of-9 from threes.

With a fourth straight all-Filipino title in mind, San Miguel opened its 2018 PBA Philippine Cup campaign with a gritty 104-96 victory over Phoenix Sunday at Smart Araneta Coliseum.

Proving why they have been the benchmark for the first conference over the past three seasons, the Beermen drew huge contributions from their fancied starting five all game long, but needed one final 18-4 blast as they turned a close 85-80 lead to a decisive 103-84 lead with 2:41 to play.

Reigning four-time PBA MVP June Mar Fajardo was unsurprisingly stellar once again, firing 23 points, 16 rebounds, four assists, and four blocks in the opening day win.

Alex Cabagnot also added 22 markers, four assists, and two boards, while Marcio Lassiter unloaded 10 of his 20 points in the fourth period as he shot 4-of-9 from threes.

Chris Ross chimed in 16 markers, nine dimes, and six rebounds, while Arwind Santos got a double-double with his 14 points and 11 boards in the conquest.

Anticipating a tough season ahead of it, San Miguel coach Leo Austria’s expectations were met as Phoenix refused to give up even if it took a lead as high as 19, with the Fuel Masters relentless in their pursuit of chipping away the lead.

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Luckily for Beermen, their experience prevailed in the end to hold off the Fuel Masters.

“The first win is always really hard, especially for our team. Everybody prepares hard for us, but fortunately, all of our starters scored in double figures,” he said.

Jeff Chan paced Phoenix with 18 points on a 4-of-5 clip from threes, while Matthew Wright got 12 markers but shit 4-of-17 from the field in the loss.

The Fuel Masters also failed to give coach Louie Alas a victory in his PBA head coaching return. 

The scores:

SAN MIGUEL 104 — Fajardo 23, Cabagnot 22, Lassiter 20, Ross 16, Santos 14, Pessumal 5, Ganuelas-Rosser 4, Agovida 0, Heruela 0, Lanete 0, Mabulac 0, Mamaril 0, Vigil 0.

PHOENIX 96 — Chan 18, Wright 12, Alolino 11, Chua 11, Wilson 11, Dehesa 8, Kramer 6, Jazul 4, Eriobu 2, Intal 2, Revilla 1.

Quarters: 23-18, 47-37, 79-68, 104-96.

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TAGS: 2018 Philippine Cup, june mar fajardo, pba, Phoenix Fuel Masters, san miguel beermen
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