Philippine Cup champ San Miguel Beer has now got confidence, momentum and a little of everything after five games in the PBA Governors Cup.
The Beermen are now on a hot streak after picking up a third straight victory via a 100-89 drubbing of Governors Cup reigning titlists the Star Hotshots in an emotional match at the Smart Araneta Coliseum Sunday night.
Arizona Reid held his ground against Marqus Blakely in a topnotch duel of Best Import awardees and June Mar Fajardo flashed his MVP form, leading the Beermen to win No. 3 following earlier triumphs over the Meralco Bolts (104-91) and the Globalport Batang Pier (124-102).
They are now on a roll, having shaken off a sluggish start marked by losses to the Kia Carnival (78-83) and the Meralco Bolts (95-105 in overtime).
“We’re in one direction,” said San Miguel Beer head coach Leo Austria on the run they’re enjoying now.
Against the Hotshots, the Beermen looked well in the same page, leading by as many as 19 and holding on to beat the Hotshots in a game marred by technical fouls by Austria, Arwind Santos and Star mentor Tim Cone.
Santos was ejected from the game early in the fourth quarter for a second technical infraction.
Reid collected 29 points and 11 rebounds while Fajardo logged in 21 markers and 20 boards — his sixth career 20-20 game — with Chris Ross, Alex Cabagnot and Santos contributing at least 12 points as they dealt the Hotshots a third consecutive loss after a triumphant conference debut.
SMB caught up with Globalport at 3-2 while the Star squad moved down the cellar in the company of Rain or Shine, NLEX and Blackwater at 1-3
“They had a big problem in June Mar then we still had AZ, Arwind, Ross and Alex,” said Austria.
Marcio Lassiter made only six points, but came through with two plays at crunch time.
First, he followed up a missed jumper by Reid just as the Beermen had come to within six at 84-90. And as they were just protecting a five-point lead, 92-87, the Fil-Am wingman intercepted an outlet pass by James Yap to Blakely.
The Beermen all but wrapped up the game as Reid scored on a drive off Alex Mallari in the ensuing play.
Lassiter ended up with two steals and also got five rebounds and four rebounds against two turnovers in a little over 39 minutes of action.
Blakely matched Reid’s 29-point output with the Hotshots import striking hard in the second half.
The reigning Best Import tossed in 15 in the third quarter as the Hotshots established some rhythm and trimmed their deficit down to seven, 64-71, going into the payoff period.
But Santos, Lassiter, Fajardo and Reid took turn in delivering the goods as the Beermen kept the Hotshots from hitting full steam. (SB)
SAN MIGUEL BEER 100 – Reid 29, Fajardo 21, Ross 14, Cabagnot 13, Santos 12, Lasiter 6, Tubid 3, Omolon 2, Lutz 0, Espinas 0.
STAR HOTSHOTS 89 – Blakely 29, Barroca 15, Yap 11, Mallari 9, Pennisi 8, Devance 5, Melton 4, Pingris 4, Maliksi 4, Simon 0.
Quarterscores: 22-16, 46-29, 71-64, 100-89
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