The Columbian Dyip cut San Miguel Beer down to size and ran away with a pulsating 124-118 win in the 2019 Honda PBA Philippine Cup at the Cuneta Astrodome on Friday.
Behind top rookie CJ Perez and Jackson Corpuz, the Dyip erased a six-point deficit in the final six minutes of the match and regained the upper-hand on the former's breakaway layup 114-112 with 2:38 remaining.
Rashawn McCarthy then unleashed a three-pointer, Perez munched a pair of free throws and Jay-R Reyes split his shots before Marcio Lassiter unloaded a triple to keep the Beermen within striking distance, 120-116.
Eric Camson sealed the victory with a couple of freebies.
Perez finished with team-high 26 points and five rebounds, two days after fellow rookie Robert Bolick had a smashing debut.
But everyone pretty much did their part in stunning the defending champions.
Corpuz gave June Mar Fajardo a headache for most of the game while also coming up with 21 points, 11 rebounds, two assists, and two steals. He had three blocks, two of which on the reigning five-time MVP in the final stretch.
Reden Celda fired 15 points on 3-of-6 shooting from the three-point area. Reyes scored 11 points, while Camson and Russel Escoto each had 11 points.
"I'm really proud of my boys," said Columbian head coach Johnedel Cardel after the match. "I'm really happy we won this game. We really wanted to win this game."
The Dyip spoiled an explosive performance from Arwind Santos, who did almost everything with 34 points, seven rebounds, and four blocks in close to 30 minutes of action.
Lassiter added 25 points, five rebounds, five assists, and four steals. Alex Cabagnot and Kelly Nabong chipped in 12 and 11 points, respectively.
Fajardo, the reigning five-time MVP, had to bleed to score 16 points on top of 13 rebounds. He also had a game-high seven turnovers.
"I missed a lot of shots. My teammates played really well and I didn't. I feel really sad," Fajardo said in Filipino. "I don't know why, I've been playing in this league for seven years now and I'm used to drawing the double team. Maybe I was just not focused."
Fajardo also said the Dyip's frontline made life miserable for him and vows to bounce back the next game.
"I had many lapses. We had a good game plan. My teammates played well. I was the missing link there. It seemed that I was absent in the game," he added. "I have a lot to improve. I need to really work out on some things."
Columbian 124 - Perez 26, Corpuz 21, Celda 15, Reyes 12, Camson 11, Escoto 11, McCarthy 8, Agovida 8, King 7, Calvo 3, Cahilig 2, Khobuntin 0, Faundo 0, Gabriel 0.
San Miguel 118 - Santos 34, Lassiter 25, Fajardo 16, Cabagnot 12, Nabong 11, Romeo 7, Standhardinger 6, Zamar 3, Ross 2, Pessumal 2, Tubid 0.
Quarterscores: 24-27, 51-54, 85-86, 124-118.
- Santos already had 19 points, five rebounds, and three blocks at halftime while Lassiter connected four triples on his way to 16 points to go with four rebounds and three steals.
- Perez had a slow start. Feeling uneasy during the first half of his first game in the PBA, he only had two points before settling down in the second half.
- Terrence Romeo had seven points, four assists, and two rebounds in his first game in a San Miguel Beer uniform.
SMB - vs Ginebra on January 20 at the Smart Araneta Coliseum
Columbian - vs Phoenix on January 23 at the Smart Araneta Coliseum