SAN Miguel Beermen banked on Alex Cabagnot’s clutch baskets to outlast Meralco, 110-106, in the 2016 PBA Governors' Cup at the Smart Araneta Coliseum on Wednesday.
June Mar Fajardo was at the forefront of the Beermen's attack, finishing with 24 points to go with 10 rebounds and two assists. Import Mike Singletary also gave a good account of himself in his debut with a double-double of 21 points and 20 rebounds for the Beermen, who joined Ginebra and Mahindra in second place on 6-2 win-loss records.
"I think Singletary is doing his best to help us. Alam niya yung pressure na meron dito kasi defending champions kami," SMB coach Leo Austria said of the import who is filling in for the injured AZ Reid.
But it was Cabagnot who shone the brightest down the stretch, scoring five straight points that fended off the Bolts, who clawed back from 13 points down in the third quarter.
Those five points came after the Bolts threatened to turn the tables on a Chris Newsome three-pointer that pulled them within two, 101-99, with 2:06 left.
A Jared Dillinger triple kept Meralco's hopes alive, but Arwind Santos' free throws with 3.2 ticks sealed the win for the Beermen.
"I was really expecting a hard game," said Austria.
Meanwhile, Meralco dropped to a 5-4 card.
Allen Durham paced the Bolts with 34 points, including 11 in the payoff period to spark the team's comeback. Jimmy Alapag and Newsome added 14 and 12, respectively, for Meralco.
SAN MIGUEL 110 - Fajardo 24, Singletary 21, Santos 19, Cabagnot 18, David 13, Ross 9, Lassiter 4, De Ocampo 2, Heruela 0, Reyes 0, Tubid 0.
MERALCO 106 - Durham 34, Alapag 14, Newsome 12, Faundo 10, Hodge 10, Nabog 10, Amer 7, Hugnatan 6, Dillinger 3, Buenafe 0, Uyloan 0.
Quarterscores: 25-24, 55-44, 81-79, 110-106