San Miguel Beer started its grand slam campaign on a high note by battering Blackwater, 118-93, in the Philippine Basketball Association Season 42 Governor’s Cup on Saturday at the Ynares Sports Center in Antipolo.
The Beermen, who dominated the last Philippine Cup and Commissioner’s Cup, were too much for the struggling Elite, as they erected a hefty 59-36 lead at the half. SMB was never threatened the rest of the way.
“I’m so proud of my players because I think this is our best start coming from winning a title,” said San Miguel Beer coach Leo Austria. “Despite the long break, they are still sharp and there is a little bit of eagerness on their part.”
Import Wendell McKines scored 19 points via 7-of-11 shooting from the field in addition to his 12 rebounds and five assists. Shooting guard Marcio Lassiter contributed 19 points, including five triples, to lead the Beermen.
Three-time Most Valuable Player June Mar Fajardo finished with 18 points on top of eight rebounds and two steals, while Gabby Espinas and Arwind Santos notched 16 and 12 points, respectively, also for San Miguel Beer.
Forward Matt Rosser-Ganuelas, who was acquired by the Beermen in a trade with the TNT KaTropa for Ryan Roose Garcia last April, marked his debut with San Miguel Beer with a lay-up with still 6:38 left in the last quarter resulting in their biggest lead in the game, 106-68.
The Elite who were limping in the remaining minutes failed to trim the 20-point deficit. They remain winless in three games.
Blackwater’s import Trevis Simpson, who averaged 24.5 points in his first two games, was scoreless after nine minutes of play and three attempts from the field because of a groin injury he sustained during their last game against Star.
Guard Mike DiGregorio scored 18 points, while the 6’7 center JP Erram had 14 points, 15 rebounds and two blocks to lead the Elite.
San Miguel Beer tallied more three-pointers (12-8), rebounds (57-47), assists (34-22) and steals (9-5) than Blackwater.