Fajardo takes charge as San Miguel clinches top seed with OT win over Terrafirma
San Miguel officially cliched the top seed in the playoffs after disposing of a determined Terrafirma side in overtime, 109-108, Thursday in the elimination round of the PBA Season 47 Philippine Cup at the Smart Araneta Coliseum in Quezon City.
The Beermen led by as much as 13 but found themselves down by 3 after a triple by Dyip rookie Javi Gomez de Liano in the 2:43 mark of the overtime period. The flagship team of the SMC group, however, refused to give in with main man June Mar Fajardo delivering the game-winning three-point play to seal the win and along with it the top spot in the next round.
Fajardo narrowly missed a triple-double as the league’s one and only 6-time MVP finished with 26 points, 10 boards and 9 dimes in 41 minutes of action.
“We just did what we’ve been doing for the past games, helping one another on defense. There’s not much adjustment because we just followed our basic rules on offense and defense. We just did what we’ve been doing for the past 10 games,” said SMB assistant coach Jorge Gallent who called the shots in lieu of head coach Leo Austria who sat out the match along with Jericho Cruz and Robbie Herndon due to health protocols.
Marcio Lassiter came through with 23 points on 4-of-9 shooting from beyond the arc, 9-of-18 overall in addition to 7 rebounds and 8 assists. CJ Perez added 20 points while Von Pessumal and Mo Tautuaa chipped in 13 and 10 markers, respectively.
Vic Manuel returned to active duty after missing some games due to a calf injury and was held scoreless in 7 minutes of play.
Eric Camson paced the still-winless Dyip with 20 points while JP Calvo and Gomez de Liano contributed 19 markers apiece. Andreas Cahilig and rookie Allen Mina added 17 and 10 points, respectively.
The Beermen will try to go for their 7th consecutive win, 10th overall, when they clash with the surging Meralco Bolts on Sunday, July 17, 4:30pm at the same venue.
San Miguel 109 – Fajardo 26, Lassiter 23, Perez 20, Pessumal 13, Tautuaa 10, Zamar 9, Canete 2, Enciso 0, Manuel 0.
Terrafirma 108 – Camson 20, Calvo 19, Gomez de Liano 19, Cahilig 17, Mina 13, Ramos 8, Gabayni 7, Tiongson 3, Tumalip 2, Balagasay 0.
Quarterscores: 23-19; 47-43; 74-68; 98-98; 109-108.
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