San Miguel Beer cruised to its third straight win at the expense of Columbian Dyip, 129-117 in the 2018 PBA Commissioner's Cup on Wednesday at the Smart Araneta Coliseum.
Behind June Mar Fajardo, the Beermen broke free in the fourth period and kept the Dyip at bay to improve to a 3-3 record in the mid-season conference.
The Beermen turned an eight-point lead heading into a 108-94 buffer after Fajardo soared for a two-handed slam off a Marcio Lassiter pass in transition with 6:49 left to play.
The defending champions even led by as much as 113-96, but the Dyip refused to fold and got to as close as nine, 123-114, on Glen Khobuntin's drive against Fajardo. Arwind Santos, though, scored back-to-back jumpers to fend off the run for good.
Fajardo finished with game-high 37 points, 18 rebounds, and two assists, while import Renaldo Balkman had 27 markers and 18 boards.
Alex Cabagnot also stood out with a triple-double outing of 20 points, 10 rebounds, and the same number of assists in almost 32 minutes of play. Arwind Santo came up with 18 markers, while Chris Ross added 10 points, six rebounds, eight assists, and two steals.
"I thank the Lord for giving us the win. It's really hard to win. Everytime we face Kia (Dyip), I'm really worried because we have history with this team. We always have a hard time winning against them," said San Miguel coach Leo Austria.
While the Beermen enjoy a winning streak, the Dyip reeled to their third straight defeat for a 3-5 slate.
Import John Fields, Reden Celda, and Rashawn McCarthy paced the Dyip with 19 points apiece. But their production were not enough to at least keep in step with the Beermen in the fourth period.
Christian Standhardinger still sat out the game. The Fil-German forward missed his second straight game due to a knee injury. "We didn't want him to play with the injury that's why we opted not to let him play," said Austria.
Arwind Santos missed all his seven attempts from the three-point area.
Reden Celda had a double-double outing of 19 points and 10 assists to go with two assists and the same number of steals.
San Miguel - vs GlobalPort on June 13 at the Mall of Asia Arena
Dyip - vs Phoenix on June 10 at the Smart Araneta Coliseum