SMB blows away GlobalPort in endgame for 5th straight win


MANILA — The San Miguel Beermen needed a 25-5 blast in the endgame to beat back a strong challenge from the GlobalPort Batang Pier with a 107-93 victory in the PBA Philippine Cup Wednesday night at the Smart-Araneta Coliseum.

The defending champion Beermen thus recorded their fifth straight win while handling the Batang Pier their third loss in five games.

Four-time MVP June Mar Fajardo towered over everybody else and dominated the game, finishing with a team-high 34 points, 13 boards, three assists, and three blocks. Brian Heruela, Fajardo’s college pal, also played his best game yet for SMB, finishing with 17 points, six steals, and two boards, against only two turnovers in 23 minutes off the bench.

Arwind Santos and Marcio Lassiter also scored 17 points each. Santos added 10 rebounds, six assists, one steal, and one block in 37 minutes, while Lassiter had two boards, two assists, two blocks, and one steal.

The Beermen hardly missed the absence of Alex Cabagnot who could not play due to injury. Matt Ganuelas-Rosser took Cabagnot’s place in the starting lineup and came up with 10 points, 12 rebounds, four steals, and one assist in 26 minutes.

GlobalPort matched SMB’s firepower for most parts of the game that saw 44 lead changes and 11 deadlocks.

The Batang Pier were still ahead, 83-80, with six minutes left in the game before the Beermen came up with that telling run that scuttled GlobalPort’s hopes of an upset.

Stanley Pringle once again was the main man for the Batang Pier, tallying 23 points, six rebounds, two assists, and two steals. However, he had seven turnovers. Kelly Nabong and Sean Anthony added 15 points apiece in a losing effort.

Meralco 105, Kia 76

The Meralco Bolts snapped a three-game losing skid with a merciless 29-point demolition of the Kia Picanto, 105-76. The Bolts thus improved to a 2-3 win-loss card while handling the Picanto their fifth loss in six games.

The Bolts raced to an early lead and broke the game wide open as early as the second quarter, never giving the Picanto any chance to mount even a semblance of a major rally. Kia was coming from a momentous win over Rain or Shine last Saturday, but Meralco made sure there would no repeat of that upset win.

Nino Canaleta led the Meralco onslaught against his former team, finishing with a team-high 17 points, 12 of them scored in the first half including four three-pointers. Canaleta also had six boards in over 25 minutes of action.

Jared Dillinger was also on target, finishing with 13 points, 10 of them in the first half, which ended with Meralco on top by 19 points. Anjo Caram came off the bench to add 12 points and three assists. Baser Amer chipped in 10 points, nine assists, five boards, and two steals in 26 minutes. Amer and Dillinger drilled three triples each

Cliff Hodge returned from sickbay to contribute eight points, six boards, and three assists in over 18 minutes.

Meralco shot 44 percent from three-point territory and 51 percent from the field overall. In contrast, Kia shot a dismal 32.5 percent and trailed by as much as 34 points late in the game.

Rashawn McCarthy led Kia with 17 points while Mark Yee and rookie Jonjon Gabriel had 14 and 13 markers, respectively in a losing effort.

Games Friday: NLEX Road Warriors (2-3) vs. Rain or Shine Elasto Painters (2-3)and Barangay Ginebra Kings (2-2) vs. Phoenix Fuel Masters (2-3).