San Miguel played without its main man June Mar Fajardo but his absence hardly mattered as the Beermen easily disposed of NLEX, 120-106, Wednesday night in the elimination round of the PBA Season 47 Governors’ Cup at the Philsports Arena in Pasig City.
The league’s winningest franchise, who will miss Fajardo for at least six weeks due to an MCL tear which he suffered during the team’s stint in the EASL Champions Week, displayed championship poise and composure all throughout the match and secured their 8th win in 10 outings to move up to a tie for second place in the team standings with idle Brgy. Ginebra.
The Road Warriors, on the other hand, closed out the preliminary phase with a 7-4 record to settle for the 6th seed going into the playoffs.
Cameron Clark dished out a monster double-double as the former NLEX reinforcement came through with a 45-point, 17-rebound performance. He shot 17-of-27 from the field and 11-of-14 from the stripe to go with 3 assists in 45 minutes of action.
“It’s just about the players stepping up. They knew June Mar was injured. They just stepped up, which is good. They learned to play without the big boy. It’s good and I hope they will continue to play hard and play with a lot of effort,” said SMB head coach Jorge Gallent during the post-game presser.
“We have to really double up on offense and defense when June Mar is not here,” he added.
CJ Perez added 23 points, 7 boards, 4 dimes and 2 steals while Jericho Cruz and Allyn Bulanadi chipped in 16 and 14 markers, respectively.
The Beermen’s next assignment is the Rain or Shine Elasto Painters. The two sides are scheduled to clash on Friday, March 17, 3:00pm at the same venue.