San Miguel def Blackwater, 125-117 [PBA S48 Comm’s Cup | Jan. 12, 2024]

Streaking San Miguel has a clear shot at its immediate target in the PBA Commissioner’s Cup and should hit that Friday when it takes on Blackwater at the Smart Araneta Coliseum.

A fifth straight win by the Beermen in the 4 p.m. encounter gives them an 8-3 slate at the end of the eliminations, which should be good enough for third-running spot and a twice-to-beat advantage in the quarterfinals given to the top four.

Actually, Phoenix Super LPG, Barangay Ginebra and Meralco could tie SMB for the spot, but the latter would still secure the spot or even go a rung higher due to a higher quotient after having beaten all those teams.

A loss by the Beermen, however, coupled with their rivals getting to eight wins would relegate the former to as low as fifth.

Still, Blackwater snapping out of a nine-game slide and finishing the elims with a 2-9 slate surely looks improbable what with SMB’s already formidable arsenal getting an additional boost.

Activated as early as last week, June Mar Fajardo is set to make his return to action Friday after missing SMB’s last six games due to a left-hand injury he sustained last Nov. 29.

The seven-time MVP’s return surely is timely since the Beermen would be without Rodney Brondial, who suffered a left ankle sprain during a 132-110 blowout win over Terrafirma last Sunday.

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