San Miguel Beer thrives behind balanced scoring to rout NLEX in Cagayan de Oro and gain solo lead  
San Miguel's Alex Cabagnot reads the NLEX defense in their PBA Philippine Cup road game in Cagayan de Oro City. Photo courtesy of PBA Media Bureau

SAN Miguel Beer spread the wealth and even got richer in the process as it cruised past NLEX, 106-80, on Saturday night to gain the solo lead in the PBA Philippine Cup after the road game in Cagayan de Oro City.

Coach Leo Austria proved true to his word of managing his stars’ minutes better as no player reached the 30-minute mark for a change – and as a result, the Beermen never looked back after going off to a hot start in the Petron Saturday Special at the Xavier University gym.

Alex Cabagnot typified the Beermen's torrid shooting with 18 points built around four triples, on top of four assists, four boards, and two steals to lead five players who scored in twin digits for the the reigning champions, who won for the third straight game and fourth overall in five games.

The Road Warriors, despite welcoming back Asi Taulava after being out with migraines, suffered a fourth straight setback after starting the season with a win as they fell just two points shy of matching their worst defeat in franchise history, according to chief statistician Fidel Mangonon III.

June Mar Fajardo and Arwind Santos, who played over 38 minutes in the nail-biting win over Mahindra, saw just 29 and 26 minutes of action, respectively, and still contributed significantly with 15 points apiece.

Fajardo made six of his nine shots and completed a double-double performance with 12 boards on top of five blocks, while Santos added eight rebounds, two blocks, and one assist.

RR Garcia and Ronald Tubid led SMB’s bench mob with 12 and 11 points, respectively, as the Beermen outscored the Road Warriors’ substitutes, 45-29, overall.

Kevin Alas, Brad Guinto, and Jonas Villanueva scored 12 points each, while Raul Soyud added 11 markers and eight caroms in a losing effort for the Road Warriors, who fell to a hole that went as deep as 33 points.


The scores: 

SMB 106 – Cabagnot 18, Fajardo 15, Santos 15, Garcia 12, Tubid 11, Lassiter 11, Espinas 7, Reyes 6, Heruela 5, De Ocampo 4, Ross 2, Van Opstal 0, Agovida 0, McCarthy 0

NLEX 80 - Alas 12, Guinto 12, J. Villanueva 12, Soyud 11, Lastimosa 8, Taulava 7, Gotladera 6, Anthony 4, Khobuntin 4, Rios 4, Monfort 0, Camson 0, Lanete 0, Baracael 0

Quarterscores: 31-19, 60-37, 82-53, 106-80 

Follow the writer on Twitter: @KarloSacamos