June Mar Fajardo battered the Blackwater Elite on all fronts Wednesday as the San Miguel Beermen cruised to a 93-79 win to end a two-game losing streak in the PBA Philippine Cup.
Fajardo had a sterling night at the Mall of Asia Arena with 20 points, 21 rebounds, five assists, and four blocks. San Miguel improves to 3-3 while the Elite plummete to 1-4.
Alex Cabagnot's five straight points, including the booming 3-pointer with 7:01 remaining in the game powered the Beermen to a commanding 83-66 lead.
The Elite struggled in the paint with their big men taking turns failing to contain the 6-foot-10 Fajardo.
"Coach Leo [Austria] told us our backs are against the wall. We needed to win. Good thing we played well today," Fajardo said in Filipino.
In his first game back, Cabagnot caught fire and scattered 19 points on 3-of-4 shooting from the 3-point range. He also had five assists.
Terrence Romeo finished with 17 points, five rebounds, four assists, and a block. But he missed all five 3-point attempts.
Chris Ross chipped in 14 points on the strength of 4-for-5 shooting from 3-point range.
It was a nip-and-tuck contest in the first two quarters. But the Beermen gained steam near the end of the third period and took an 11-point lead, 72-61 on Kelly Nabong's and-one play.
SMB continued to play at a high level in the fourth period and the Elite just didn't have enough to counter the defending champions.
Roi Sumang paced Blackwater with 17 points five rebounds, six assists, and two steals while Mike DiGregorio had 14 points. Allein Maliksi finished with a double-double of 13 points and 12 rebounds.
San Miguel 93 - Fajardo 20, Cabagnot 19, Ross 14, Nabong 7, Lassiter 6, Santos 4, Tubid 2, Lanete 2, De Ocampo 2, Mamaril 0, Zamar 0, Vigil 0.
Blackwater 79 - Sumang 17, Digregorio 14, Maliksi 13, Javier 9, Tratter 9, Desiderio 4, Eriobu 4, Sena 0, Cortez 0, Palma 0, Dario 0.
Quarterscores: 19-29, 44-41, 74-64, 93-79
- Cabagnot returned to action after missing the team's last three outings due to a hamstring injury. He suffered the injury during their opening game against the Columbian Dyip.
- Fajardo already had a double-double after the first two quarters. He scored 10 points and grabbed 14 rebounds in 17 minutes and 49 seconds.
- Rabeh Al-Hussaini rejoined Blackwater but was on the bench in street clothes.
SMB vs. Magnolia on February 10 at the Smart Araneta Coliseum.
Blackwater vs. Ginebra on February 9 at the Davao del Sur Coliseum.