Late heroics by Fajardo, Heruela ensure San Miguel win over Globalport
MANILA, Philippines – June Mar Fajardo and Brian Heruela came up big down the stretch as the San Miguel Beermen used a late salvo to turn back the pesky Globalport Batang Pier, 107-93, and remain unscathed in the 2018 PBA Philippine Cup at the Araneta Coliseum Wednesday, January 24.
It was a nip-and-tuck battle from the get-go with both teams exchanging leads for 44 times until the Batang Pier held an 85-83 advantage midway the 4th period off an 8-0 blitz.
But it was all San Miguel from since then as the Beermen found their groove and rode on a game-clinching 18-0 spurt, fueled by 10 points from June Mar Fajardo and 5 from Brian Heruela, 101-85, to cruise to their 5th straight win.
Fajardo was, as usual, impressive for the Beermen, finishing with season-high 34 points on an ultra-efficient 77 percent shooting to go with 13 boards, 3 assists and 3 blocks. He scored 10 in the 4th quarter alone.
Heruela, who slotted in for the injured Alex Cabagnot, put on a show of his own with 17 points, 9 coming in the final frame, on top of 6 steals, 5 assists and 2 rebounds in just 23 minutes of action.
Arwind Santos made his presence felt with 17 points, 10 rebounds and 6 assists for San Miguel while Marcio Lassiter also added 17 markers.
Matt Ganuelas-Rosses chipped in 10 points, 12 rebounds and 4 steals for San Miguel, which improved to 5-0.
"I’m so happy tonight because of my players off the bench, especially Heruela. Talagang inagaw niya 'yung show kay June Mar and then kay Arwind saka kay Marcio Lassiter. Of course, Ganuelas who’s playing really well in terms of defense and providing a lot of energy, which [is needed] by our starters," said San Miguel head coach Leo Austria.
(I'm so happy tonight because of the my players off the bench, especially Heruela. He stole the show from June Mar, Arwind and Marcio Lassiter. Of course, Ganuela also played well in terms of defense and providing a lot of energy, which is needed by our starters.)
Stanley Pringle finished with 23 points and 6 rebounds for the Batang Pier, who saw their two-game winning streak come to an end. Sean Anthony and Kelly Nabong combined for 30 points and 13 boards in the loss.
Globalport dropped to a 2-3 card, tying Meralco, NLEX, Phoenix, Rain or Shine and Blackwater.
San Miguel 107: Fajardo 34, Lassiter 17, Santos 17, Heruela 17, Ganuelas-Rosser 10, Ross 6, De Ocampo 4, Pessumal 2, Mamaril 0, Semerad 0, Vigil 0.
GlobalPort 93: Pringle 23, Nabong 15, Anthony 15, Arana 11, Grey 9, Gabayni 6, Sargent 4, Guinto 4, Juico 3, Elorde 3, Taha 0, Flores 0.
Quarter scores: 22-25, 43-47, 74-72, 107-93.