Rodney Brondial came up with his best performance in a San Miguel uniform and helped the Beermen pull off a lopsided win over Meralco, 121-97, in the semifinal round of the PBA Season 47 Philippine Cup at the Smart Araneta Coliseum in Quezon City.
The 31-year old Brondial, who arrived during the off-season as an unrestricted free agent, contributed a double-double of 20 points and 11 rebounds to go with 2 assists and a steal in 30 minutes play as the flagship team of the SMC group grabbed a 1-0 lead in the best-of-seven series.
CJ Perez top-scored for the 2019 All-Filipino Cup champs with 25 points with 10 coming in the opening frame as the Beermen established an early lead and never looked back.
“Talagang na-surprise kami sa performance ng mga players dahil alam naman natin na pagka-Meralco, maraming beses kaming pinahiya nila. Hindi ko alam na ganun sila ka-motivated,” said SMB coach Leo Austria during the post-game presser.
“Nagkaroon kami ng magandang break prior to this game, so nagamit namin ‘yun. That’s why ‘yung energy ng team, napaka-taas,” he added.
Vic Manuel had his best game after coming off an injury as the former Meralco player compiled 16 points, 3 rebounds and 4 assists in 17 minutes of action.
June Mar Fajardo finished with a stat line 11 points, 6 rebounds, 5 assists and a block while Marcio Lassiter, Jericho Cruz and Simon Enciso chipped in 10, 9 and 8 markers, respectively.
The Beermen go for a 2-0 series lead when the two sides clash anew in Game 2 which is set on Friday, August 5, 3:00pm at the same venue.
San Miguel 121 – Perez 25, Brondial 20, Manuel 16, Fajardo 11, Lassiter 10, Cruz 9, Enciso 8, Tautuaa 8, Herndon 7, Pessumal 5, Ross 2.
Meralco 97 – Banchero 17, Almazan 16, Jose 12, Hodge 11, Newsome 9, Quinto 9, Pascual 9, Black 8, Caram 4, Maliksi 2, Belo 0, Pasaol 0, Baclao 0.
Quarterscores: 33-17, 60-41, 85-64, 121-97.