SMB bounces back, takes luster out of Star

Defending champion San Miguel Beermen bounced back and survived a fourth quarter scare from sister team Star Hotshots to return to winning column with a 109-100 win on Sunday night in the PBA Governors’ Cup at the Smart Araneta Coliseum. 

Smarting from a sorry loss at the hands of league-leading Mahindra the last time out, AZ Reid redeemed himself as he issued 11 assists that went with 34 points and 5 steals while June Mar Fajardo hit timely baskets that quell Star’s scorching run in the fourth period and finished with his best game this conference – 28 points, 13 rebounds and 2 shot blocks.

“Kailangan talaga naming mag-bounce back kasi ang sama ng talo namin last game,” said Fajardo, who shot 9 of 15 and also had 2 steals.

Star made a big run in the final frame that saw them cut a 20-point deficit into just 5, 88-83, but Chris Ross, who also sparkled with 14 points and 10 assists repeatedly fed Fajardo down low that kept the Hotshot at bay.

James Yap scored 20 points, 11 in the opening period, in his best offensive performance this conference but they dug themselves a hole too deep.

Marqus Blakely hit 15 points and hauled down 15 rebounds but committed 10 of Star’s 25 turnovers which San Miguel Beer parlayed to 26 points.

Alex Cabagnot also chipped in the Beermen’s finishing kick as he totaled 21 points for the Beermen who caught sister team Brgy. Ginebra Kings at second spot with 3-1 win-loss record. – By Alder Almo

Follow this writer on Twitter: @alderalmo

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