SAN Miguel Beer proved there’s more to its team than just June Mar Fajardo as it gave Barangay Ginebra a harsh reality check with a 100-82 decision on Sunday night in the PBA Philippine Cup before a sizeable crowd at the Philsports Arena in Pasig.
With all eyes on Fajardo and his anticipated matchup with Greg Slaughter, Arwind Santos stole the spotlight, heating up early with 20 of his game-high 24 points in the first half where the Beermen set the tone for the rout.
Fajardo delivered as usual, tallying 22 points, 14 boards, two steals, and one assist as the reigning league MVP had the last laugh on Slaughter, who carried with Gin Kings with 21 points and 11 boards that was laid to waste.
“Sabi ko sa kanya (Fajardo) before the game, ‘This is just not you fight. It’s the fight of our team,” Beermen coach Leo Austria said. "Your strength is with your teammates and they’ll provide the necessary help para sa’yo.”
As a result, the Beermen hiked the win-loss record to 4-1, while preventing the Gin Kings to build a winning streak as they fell to 1-3.
Apart from Santos and Fajardo, four more players scored at least eight points each, highlighting the firepower of the Beermen, who prevailed despite shooting just 42 percent from the field, compared to the Gin Kings’ 46-percent shooting.
Ginebra stayed within striking distance in the first half, but the Beermen pulled away after intermission as they extended their lead that grew to as many as 23 points, 94-71.
Japeth Aguilar registered the same scoring output as Slaughter and added nine boards, three blocks, and one assist in 37 minutes, but the Gin Kings failed to draw significant support as Chris Ellis wound up as the only other Ginebra player in double-figure scoring.
San Miguel 100 - Santos 24, Fajardo 22, Tubid 15, Lassiter 13, Ross 10, Cabagnot 8, Arana 6, Espinas 2, De Ocampo 0, Heruela 0, Lutz 0, Reyes 0.
Ginebra 82 - Aguilar 21, Slaughter 21, Ellis 11, Caguioa 8, Mercado 7, Tenorio 4, Brondial 2, Devance 2, Helterbrand 2, Salva 2, Thompson 2, Marcelo 0, Mariano 0, Villamor 0.
Quarterscores: 23-23, 47-43, 73-60, 100-82