Quarterfinals-bound Beermen bury Road Warriors to 0-9 slate
Charles Rhodes finished with 37 points in San Miguel's demolition of NLEX. (File photo)
San Miguel Beer showed no rust despite a long layoff as the Beermen formally clinched a quarterfinals berth in the 2017 PBA Commissioner’s Cup with a 114-108 win over the NLEX Road Warriors at the Cuneta Astrodome Friday night.
Fresh from a successful stint with Gilas Pilipinas, big man June Mar Fajardo returned to action but fouled out late in the fourth as the Beermen cruised to its sixth win in seven games despite a 13-day rest.
Charles Rhodes exploded with 37 points on 17-of-22 field goal clip and grabbed 19 rebounds with three blocks for SMB. Rhodes had plenty of help from the locals as Chris Ross had 15 points and 11 assists while Arvind Santos had 13.
“Actually I’m really worried about this game because of our long layoff,” said SMB coach Leo Austria, whose squad dropped 103-112 match against Talk ‘N Text last May 5 before the long break because of the country’s hosting of the SEABA tilt.
But the Beermen jumped on the winless Road Warriors early and even held an 89-65 cushion in the closing minutes of the third.
Fajardo finished with 12 points so as Alex Cabagnot and Marcio Lassiter. The 6-foot-9 Fajardo hit the showers early, fouling out with 1:36 remaining in the match with SMB ahead, 112-100.
“Di ko napansin na nakarami na pala akong fouls,” he said. “Di naman kami masyadong pagod sa SEABA kasi light lang practice kasi everyday ‘yung games.
“Di naman masyado napagod pero medyo nanibago,” added Fajardo, who only had four rebounds. “Nanibago ako sa laro kasi dun sa SEABA mabilis, dito set up.”
Wayne Chism scored 22 points, Rabeh Al-Hussaini had 18 while Carlo Lastimosa and JR Quinahan finished with 12 each for the 0-9 NLEX.
SAN MIGUEL (114) --- Rhodes 37, Ross 15, Santos 13, Cabagnot 12, Lassiter 12, Fajardo 12, Espinas 8, Heruela 5, Reyes 0, Agovida 0.
NLEX (108) --- Chism 22, Al-Hussaini 18, Quinahan 12, Lastimosa 12, Mallari 11, Tiongson 10, Alas 9, Rios 7, Baracael 5, Soyud 2, Taulava 0, Ighalo 0.
Quarter scores: 36-22; 60-43; 89-73; 114-108.