Fajardo's 41 points lifts SMB past upset-conscious Kia

Paul Lintag on Sep 16, 2017 05:34 PM
Fajardo's 41 points lifts SMB past upset-conscious Kia
With the Beermen looking for a twice-to-beat advantage in the quarterfinals, San Miguel needed every one of Fajardo's output to overcome an 11-point deficit in the second half and move up to 6-3 in the standings, becoming the fifth team to clinch a playoff spot in the season-ending joust.

June Mar Fajardo has been under the radar lately with his injuries and all but the Kraken finally made his presence felt again, reminding everyone why he's the reigning three-time MVP of the PBA.

Behind a season-high 41 points, June Mar powered San Miguel past the upset-consious Kia Picanto Saturday at the MOA Arena, scoring a crucial 118-112 win in the 2017 Governors' Cup.

With the Beermen looking for a twice-to-beat advantage in the quarterfinals, San Miguel needed every one of Fajardo's output to overcome an 11-point deficit in the second half and move up to 6-3 in the standings, becoming the fifth team to clinch a playoff spot in the season-ending joust.

Fajardo, who also had 17 rebounds, was two points short of his career-high of 43 set against Alaska two years ago.

"This is an ugly game for us dahil everybody is expecting us to do well because of the last two games namin against Rain or Shine and Ginebra. But this time against Kia, a lot of people, magdududa sila sa nilaro namin kung ganoon ba talaga kami kalakas," head coach Leo Austria said.

"I think this is a wake up call for us na we cannot take any team for granted. Every team in this league is trying to beat San Miguel. The entire game naghahabol kami eh, kahit masama ito basta nanalo kami okay lang," he added.

With Geron Johnson firing on all cylinders, the Picanto took a 67-56 lead early in the second half and were keeping the Beermen at bay until the fourth period.

However, Fajardo would drop 20 in the last 12 minutes and San Miguel outscored Kia, 40-28, to take control and take the win. A final pair of free throws by June Mar gave the Beermen a 114-109 lead with 56 seconds to go and that was all she wrote.

Five other players scored in double figures for San Miguel with import Terrence Watson and Marcio Lassiter firing 16 points apiece. Chris Ross and Arwind Santos were good for 15 points each.

Johnson led the way for the Picanto with 42 points, 10 rebounds, and eight assists but it wasn't enough to had Kia its first win of the conference. The Picanto are now 0-10 for the Governors' Cup.

 

The scores:

SAN MIGUEL 118 - Fajardo 41, Watson 16, Lassiter 16, Santos 15, Ross 15, Cabagnot 11, Tubid 2, Espinas 2, Heruela 0, Pessumal 0, Rosser 0.

KIA 112 - Johnson 42, Yee 18, Corpuz 15, Paniamogan 14, Celda 9, Elorde 7, Salva 3, Camson 2, Ballesteros 2, Jaime 0, Deutchman 0.

Quarters: 25-25, 45-50, 78-84, 118-112.

 


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