Saturday, February 21, 2015

Beermen finally get a win against league-leading Meralco

By  | Yahoo PH Sports – 5 hours ago
File photo: June Mar Fajardo versus Meralco. (PBA Images/Nuki SAbio)
The San Miguel Beermen finally won their first game of the 2015 PBA Commissioner’s Cup as they dealt the Meralco Bolts their first loss, 102-86, Saturday night in Cagayan De Oro.

After replacing Ronald Roberts with Arizona Reid, the Beermen looked like a more cohesive team. The lack of another big body inside the paint allowed June Mar Fajardo to tally 21 points and 22 rebounds as he was named the Best Player of the Game.

The Bolts could not compete against the Beermen from the second quarter on as they lost import Josh Davis to an injury early in the second quarter. The score was knotted at 30-all then Davis stepped out and the Beermen dominated Meralco the rest of the way.

At 1-4, the Beermen force a three-way tie from the 10th to 12th spots with the NLEX Road Warriors and the Blackwater Elite. The Bolts are still on top of the standings but they’ll have to share it with the Talk ‘N Text Tropang Texters.

Gary David led the way with 23 points for the Bolts but no one else score in double digits for Meralco. Cliff Hodge, John Wilson, and Reynel Hugnatan score nine each.

Disaster struck in the second quarter for the Bolts as Josh Davis landed hard on his back after his legs got caught under him as he bit on a Fajardo fake. The Meralco import stood back up to confront The Kraken but he quickly fell down after finally feeling the pain.

Davis was wheeled out on a stretcher as a precautionary measure but was not brought to the hospital.

The Bolts, one of the smaller teams in the PBA, suddenly had a gaping hole in the middle as their import checked out of the game. As a result Fajardo dominated the rest of the second period as the Beermen took a 45-40 lead at the half.

The Beermen built their first double digit lead 53-42 thanks to a fastbreak layup from Arizona Reid. SMB had a 14-2 run in the first three minutes of the third to grab a huge 59-42 advantage.

David tried to shoot the Bolts back into the game but the Bolts were down 73-60 heading into the payoff period.

Tempers flared with 7:12 left in the game as Chris Ross got entangled with David. Ross was whistled for a technical foul while David was slapped a flagrant foul penalty one, forcing him to sit on their bench for three minutes and further crippling their already limited rotation.

The Main Man: Fajardo’s spurt in the second quarter enabled the Beermen to get some distance between them and the Bolts. This was all they needed as they cruised the rest of the way.

Honorable Mentions: Reid had a good outing in terms of stats but his effect on the Beermen’s chemistry was his biggest contribution. Ross also played a good game for the Beermen with 16 points, 10 rebounds, and four assists while Arwind Santos returned to the starting unit and added 14 points and seven rebounds.

Game Turning Point: The injury suffered by Davis was too much for the bolts to overcome. The Beermen are the superior all-Filipino unit and they were so much better with Reid.

Stat of the Game: Without the prolific Davis against them, the Beermen dominated the Bolts in rebounding 66-42.

Next Games:

San Miguel Beer versus NLEX on Feb. 24 at the Cuneta Astrodome

Meralco versus NLEX Road Warriors on Feb. 27 at the Smart-Araneta Coliseum

The scores:  

SAN MIGUEL 102 - Reid 29, Fajardo 21, Ross 16, Santos 12, Lutz 9, Kramer 8, Cabagnot 5, Lassiter 2, Reyes 0, Tubid 0, Omolon 0, Fortuna 0.

MERALCO 86 - David 23, Wilson 9, Hodge 9, Hugnatan 9, Anthony 8, Dillinger 6, Cortez 5, Sena 5, Davis 4, Ferriols 4, Reyes 2, Macapagal 2, Ildefonso 0, Atkins 0, Buenafe 0.

Quarter scores: 20-25, 45-40, 73-60, 102-86.