San Miguel released “the Kraken” and this essentially did the trick in dispatching hard-fighting Terrafirma and cementing the squad’s hold of No. 1 seed in the playoffs.
Powered by June Mar Fajardo’s monster game of 26 big points, 10 rebounds and a new career-high nine assists, the Beermen fended off the upset-conscious Dyip in overtime, 109-108, to keep their hot streak in the PBA Philippine Cup Thursday night at the Smart Araneta Coliseum.
Fajardo spelled the gigantic difference in the race to the finish line, dropping eight in the fourth period and nine in extra time, including the three-point play off Aldrech Ramos that put SMB ahead by one with 19.6 seconds left.
The Dyip, who clawed back from a six-point deficit in the last 1:07 of regulation to force the OT, had one last chance to steal the upset but Javi Gomez de Liano flubbed his potential winning layup.
SMB streaked to its sixth straight win for 9-1 overall in the absence of coach Leo Austria and player Jericho Cruz, who were both placed under health and safety protocols. Jorge Gallent stepped in for Austria.
“Not much adjustment, really. We just followed our basic rules on offense and defense and did what we’ve been doing the past 10 games,” said Gallent.
Of course, that included maximizing the strength of Fajardo, who was issuing assists initially before taking the scoring cudgels in the stretch.