JUNE Mar Fajardo threw his weight around when he had to, presiding over San Miguel Beer's 96-86 romp over TNT KaTropa on Wednesday that kept the Beermen's bid for a fifth PBA Philippine Cup title alive.
The 6-10 Fajardo scored 32 points and grabbed 14 rebounds as the Beermen finished off the best-of-three quarterfinal series, 2-1, and arranged a best-of-seven semifinal against top seed Phoenix Pulse.
The Beermen were never seriously threatened after starting the game with a 17-3 blitzkrieg. They led by as many as 26 points and only a late TNT scoring run made the score look a little respectable in the end.
Fajardo, who suffered a cut in the forehead and hyperextended his knee in a Game 2 loss to TNT, was unstoppable this time. He was a perfect 11-of-11 from the field and made all but three of his 13 free throws.
Defense was also a key factor for the Beermen as they held the KaTropa to just 36 percent shooting from the field.
“Isa lang bagay nakita namin, defense. We are motivated. That’s it,” said San Miguel coach Leo Austria.
Christian Standhardinger had 17 points and nine rebounds while Terrence Romeo had 11 points against the team that traded him to the Beermen during the offseason.
RR Pogoy had 16 points, while Yousef Taha had 10 points and 13 rebounds for TNT.
San Miguel 96 – Fajardo 32, Standhardinger 17, Romeo 11, Ross 8, Cabagnot 8, Santos 7, Lassiter 6, Tubid 5, Ganuelas-Rosser 2, Pessumal 0, Zamar 0.
TNT 86 – Pogoy 16, Heruela 10, Castro 10, Rosario 10, Taha 10, Williams 9, Bono 6, Reyes 5, A. Semerad 4, Trollano 2, Washington 2, Casino 2, Carey 0, D. Semerad 0, A. Semerad 0.
Quarters: 25-10; 53-27; 77-55; 96-86.