PBA: Fajardo comes alive late in SMB's comeback win over TNT

Norman Lee Benjamin Riego on Apr 06, 2019 06:42 PM
PBA: Fajardo comes alive late in SMB's comeback win over TNT
June Mar Fajardo scored all of SMB's last five points in a Game 1 triumph over TNT

San Miguel continued its dominance over TNT with an 80-78 come-from-behind win to begin their best-of-three quarterfinals series in the 2019 PBA Philippine Cup, Saturday at MOA Arena.

June Mar Fajardo took time to get going, but came through just in time with back-to-back putbacks as well as a split from the stripe that turned a three-point deficit inside the last two minutes to a two-point win for the Beermen.

Down two, the KaTropa still had 2.2 ticks to make something happen, but Roger Pogoy's triple try went wide right.

San Miguel, now ahead 1-0 in the showdown between two of the league's most storied squads, also got a big boost from somebody who knows a thing or two about TNT. "Talagang sinwerte kami. Thank God Romeo is here," head coach Leo Austria said post-game.

Terrence Romeo, who donned the blue and yellow in 2018, dropped a team-high 15 points on top of two assists and two rebounds. Four of those points came in a spurt early in the final frame that completed their comeback from as much as 16 points down.

Fajardo wound up with 15 points of his own to go along with 10 rebounds and four blocks. Marcio Lassiter chipped in 15 markers as well.

The Beermen fell victim to an early blitz by the KaTropa, but ultimately battled back with stout defense coupled with steady hands from Romeo, Lassiter, and Fajardo.

They try to sweep the series on Monday at the Araneta Coliseum.

If that happens, San Miguel would have had downed TNT in the playoffs for the fourth time in the last five conferences.

For the KaTropa, Troy Rosario topped the scoring column with 23 points on top of nine rebounds while Roger Pogoy also added 16 markers and seven boards.

BOX SCORES

SAN MIGUEL 80 - Lassiter 15, Fajardo 15, Romeo 15, Cabagnot 12, Santos 8, Ross 6, Standahrdinger 5, Rosser 2, Pessumal 2, Nabong 0.

TNT 78 - Rosario 23, Pogoy 16, Trollano 11, Williams 9, Taha 8, Castro 8, Reyes 2, A. Semerad 1, Carey 0, Heruela 0, D. Semerad 0, Washington 0.

QUARTER SCORES: 13-22, 39-46, 60-65, 80-78.

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