San Miguel def Phoenix, 116-102 [PBA S48 PH Cup | Mar. 31, 2024]

CJ Perez has returned to his peak form, boosting San Miguel’s strength even further on the court.

In a thrilling match against Phoenix Super LPG on Easter Sunday at the Smart Araneta Coliseum, Perez showcased his skills by scoring an impressive 32 points, guiding the Beermen to a convincing 116-102 victory in the PBA Philippine Cup’s resumption.

Alongside Perez’s standout performance, Jericho Cruz, Terrence Romeo, and Don Trollano each contributed at least 10 points, while June Mar Fajardo secured a third consecutive double-double with 13 points and 12 rebounds. However, it was Perez who truly stood out in San Miguel Beer’s third consecutive win under Coach Jorge Gallent’s guidance.

Coach Gallent attributed Perez’s stellar performance to his regained confidence, especially after his remarkable 39-point display, which included some impressive four-point shots, during the recent All-Star game in Bacolod.

The entire team seemed to feed off Perez’s energy, evident in their explosive 37-point third quarter that extended their lead to 86-75. Despite Phoenix’s efforts to stay in the game, the Beermen’s relentless offense, led by Perez and Cruz, secured a comfortable lead and sealed the victory.

Phoenix, missing key players like RR Garcia and Tyler Tio due to injuries, leaned on Matthew Daves and Jayjay Alejandro, who both scored 13 points each. Jason Perkins also made a solid contribution with 11 points and 11 rebounds, while Kent Salado, signed from free agency, showcased his skills as a capable substitute point guard with 10 points, four rebounds, and four assists.

With this impressive win, San Miguel Beer solidified their position as a dominant force in the PBA Philippine Cup, while Phoenix Super LPG faced another setback, dropping to a 1-4 record overall.

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