Defending champion San Miguel Beermen regained their winning form outlasting Blackwater 93-83 on Wednesday in the Philippine Basketball Association Season 41 Philippine Cup at the Philsports Arena in Pasig City.
June Mar Fajardo finished with 20 points, 13 rebounds plus two blocks while Marcio Lassiter and Alex Cabagnot contributed 20 points and 15 points, respectively.
The Beermen improved its win-loss record to 3-1.
“I know from the start it will not be an easy game for us,” said San Miguel Beer coach Leo Austria. “The confidence is high and we’re happy we bounced [back]hard this game.”
Center John Paul Erram led the Elite with 23 points and eight rebounds.
Blackwater’s win-loss record fell to 1-3
In the first game, Talk ‘N Text’s young players and Jayson Castro sustained an impressive start to rout Meralco 105-91. It was the Tropang Texters second victory after three games.
“We should play better than the last two games and I think we did,” Talk ‘N Text coach Jong Uichico told reporters during the post-game interview. “Generally from our last two games, we played really good. Just trying to know where I can use them and them trying to understand how I want to use them.”
Sophomore Matt Ganuelas-Rosser scored 10 of his 19 points in the first quarter to provide the Tropang Texters a 33-17 advantage at the start of the second period. Meralco struggled all-throughout the second frame as Talk ‘N Text stretched their lead to an insurmountable 60-38 by halftime.
Guard Larry Fonacier nailed three triples in the second period for nine points while top overall rookie Moala Tautuaa posted 10 of his 18 points in the first half. Castro added 10 of his 15 points also in the first two quarters for Talk ‘N Text.
Tautuaa, who shot 7-of-10 in the field, also had 10 rebounds.
Talk ‘N Text controlled the game early in the second half. The Tropang Texters outscored Meralco in the third period 28-26, en route to posting a huge lead at the start of fourth quarter 88-64. The all-out effort of the Bolts in the final canto failed to stop the Texters from winning the game.
Second overall pick rookie Troy Rosario finished with 14 points while Ryan Reyes and Harvey Carey contributed nine and eight points, respectively, also for the Texters.
Meanwhile, Castro became the fifth Talk ‘N Text player and the 17th among active players to reach 5,000 points. The other Talk ‘N Text players who reached 5,000 points are former team members Glenn Capacio, Jimmy Alapag, Vic Pablo and current player Ranidel De Ocampo.
Center Rabeh Al-Hussaini led Meralco with 16 points, five rebounds and two block shots.