Beermen crush Elite to book QF berth in the Philippine Cup
Paul Lintag on Jan 06, 2017 09:27 PM
June Mar Fajardo and the San Miguel Beermen are the first to qualify in the quarterfinals of the 2017 PBA Philippine Cup after yet another dominant showing.
The champs are simply running over everybody.
Picking up where they left off last year, the San Miguel Beermen basically needed only one half to dispatch the Blackwater Elite in a 118-93 win Friday in the Philippine Cup at the MOA Arena.
Winners of the last two Philippine Cup titles, the Beermen wasted little time in showing the surprising Elite who was boss, exploding for 37 points in the first quarter alone to build a 16-point lead.
San Miguel didn't let up one bit and entered the half with a 25-point cushion, 65-40. It was pretty much status qou in the second half and the Beermen won their fifth straight game for the season-opening conference.
Armed with a 6-1 record, the champs also became the first team to qualify for the quarterfinals.
Following a string of relatively quiet performances, three-time MVP June Mar Fajardo reminded everybody why he's the best player in the land and dropped 25 points in just 29 minutes of play. The Kraken likewise grabbed eight rebounds and dished out five dimes in a dominant performance.
Gabby Espinas also had himself a big game, scoring 22 points off the bench on 81 percent shooting.
Alex Cabagnot, who sported a facial mask due to a nose injury, finished with 14 points while Marcio Lassiter also added 14.
"I think this a good new year for us dahil we have a good start. The players were so focused in the game in spite of the first few minutes na we had a bad start," head coach Leo Austria said.
"Blackwater is a team na you cannot take for granted but we have June Mar Fajardo eh. Maybe that's the reason na nahirapan sila, Give credit to the players dahil nitong break nila for the holidays, talagang hindi sila nagpabaya," he added.
After squandering a golden opportunity last Christmas, Blackwater has now lost back-to-back games and remained in the middle of the pack with an even 4-4 record.
Art Dela Cruz led the Elite with 16 points and nine rebounds in a losing effort for Blackwater.
SAN MIGUEL 118 - Fajardo 25, Espinas 22, Cabagnot 14, Lassiter 14, Santos 8, Reyes 8, Tubid 8, Van Opstal 6, Ross 4, Garcia 4, Agovida 3, Heruela 2, McCarthy 0, Mabulac 0.
BLACKWATER 93 - Dela Cruz 16, Aguilar 15, Pinto 12, Sumang 11, Buenafe 10, Forrester 7, Sena 6, Cervantes 4, Pascual 4, Belo 4, Miranda 2, Melano 2, Ababou 0, Banal 0.
Quarters: 37-21, 65-40, 91-66, 118-93
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