Reigning champion San Miguel Beer warded off the Star Hotshots’ late rally to post a 96-88 win on Sunday in the opening day of Philippine Basketball Association Season 42 Philippine Cup at the Araneta Coliseum.
Three-time Most Valuable Player June Mar Fajardo poured in 25 points on 11-of-15 shooting in the field along with 16 rebounds, three assists and two blocks, helping the Beermen to snare their first victory.
“I’m very happy that we won during the opening day,” said San Miguel Beer coach Leo Austria during the post game interview. “We are not use to play during the opening day. In fact, we had a hard time playing against coach Chito (Victolero) when he was coaching Mahindra. We lost that game. So tonight, we are happy that we got this victory.”
Alex Cabagnot finished with 22 points and eight assists, while Arwind Santos had 17 points also for the Beermen.
Guard Mark Barroca led the Hotshots with 13 points, while Paul Lee debuted for his new team with 12 points and 10 rebounds but committed nine turnovers.