RAIN or Shine figured out how to beat San Miguel Beer without June Mar Fajardo this time as it held off the Beermen, 108-105, to gain some momentum in the PBA Commissioner’s Cup on Friday night at the Smart-Araneta Coliseum.wa
The Elasto Painters, who lost to the Beermen without the reigning MVP in Game Six of the Philippine Cup semifinals, found a way to get past SMB this time, although barely, to register a second straight win and move to .500 with a 3-3 win-loss record.
Mo Charlo impressed in his debut as the new ROS import, tallying 35 points, highlighted by six three-pointers, on top of 13 boards as the E-Painters put an end to the Beermen’s three-game winning streak that dropped their slate to 3-2.
“We got another big break with June Mar,” E-Painters coach Yeng Guiao said of Fajardo, who hurt his right knee in the second quarter and never returned.
“The other good thing for us was we got the import we needed,” the veteran mentor added, referring to Charlo, who replaced Antoine Wright.
One of Charlo’s treys came with a little over two minutes when he buried a dagger from the top of the key that gave ROS the lead for good at 101-100, before delivering on the defensive end with a steal off Tyler Wilkerson and a dish to Maverick Ahanmisi for the breakaway layup.
Paul Lee also made his return from his knee injury and gave the E-Painters an emotional boost as the ROS star finished with three points, two assists, and one board in 15 minutes.
The E-Painters fell into a huge 19-point hole early when Fajardo was still playing, but pulled to within two points at the half after the SMB cornerstone went down with his injury.
Despite the absence, the Beermen stayed within striking distance behind Wilkerson, who finished with 33 points and 10 boards in 36 minutes.
ROS 108 – Charlo 35, Quinahan 15, Ahanmisi 13, Tiu 13, Chan 12, Cruz 6, Ponferada 5, Belga 4, Lee 3, Norwood 2, Almazan 0, Ibanes 0, Trollano 0
SMB 105 – Wilkerson 33, Lassiter 18, Cabagnot 18, Ross 12, Santos 10, Espinas 4, Fajardo 4, Lutz 4, Semerad 2, Arana 0, De Ocampo 0
Quarterscores: 32-14, 46-44, 76-76, 108-105