JUNE Mar Fajardo led a furious second-half charge as San Miguel Beer frustrated Globalport, 102-99, on Tuesday night in the PBA Governors Cup at the Mall of Asia Arena.
The 6-10 Fajardo flexed his muscles inside the paint to register his first 20-20 effort this conference, finishing with 26 points and a new personal career-high 27 rebounds in the Beermen's fourth win in six games.
The Beermen, though, weren't assured of the win until GlobalPort rookie Terrence Romeo’s poor endgame decision cost the Batang Pier their third straight defeat - and fourth in five games overall.
Romeo, the fifth overall pick in last year’s rookie draft, grabbed the defensive rebound after Arwind Santos missed two foul shots with 8.8 seconds to go and GlobalPort trailing by just three points.
Instead of finding an open man, Romeo chose to bring the ball up and was trapped near the sideline by Chris Lutz and Reggie Williams and prevented from putting up a shot as the final buzzer sounded.
“We had to make some strategic adjustments though it’s a matter of effort. I left it up to them (Beermen) to play defense,” said San Miguel’s active consultant Todd Purves.
It was a sorry loss for the Batang Pier who, for the second straight game, wasted a double-digit spread. They led, 60-44, at halftime.
The Batang Pier also held a 20-point lead during the first half against San Mig last week, before allowing the Mixers to mount a searing comeback in the second half to grab a 92-82 victory.
“They (Batang Pier) shot the ball awfully well in the first half. That’s a credit to coach Pido (Jarencio). Fortunately, we were able to regroup in the second half,” said Purves.
Fajardo’s 27 rebounds were just two shy of the all-time single-rebounding record registered by Marcelo Simbulan of 7-Up, which he established during the PBA’s maiden season in 1975.
Williams added 23 points, nine rebounds and nine assists, while Arwind Santos finished with a double-double of 18 points and 11 rebounds.
Dior Lowhorn led the Batang Pier with 38 points and 10 boards.
SAN MIGUEL BEER 102 - Fajardo 26, Williams 23, Santos 18, Mercado 10, Kramer 7, Tubid 6, Lanete 6, Lutz 6, Maierhofer 0, Duncil 0, Chua 0.
GLOBALPORT 99 - Lowhorn 38, Washington 14, Cabagnot 13, Romeo 11, Menk 6, Lingganay 5, Yee 4, Matias 2, Ponferada 2, Hayes 2, Salvador 2, Garcia 0.
Quarterscores: 24-27, 44-59, 81-82, 102-99