June Mar Fajardo nailed two key foul shots and import Dez Wells and Chris Ross combined for the San Miguel Beermen's final five points to close out the NLEX Road Warriors 98-94 Friday night in the first of the PBA's two official games for the Governors' Cup at the Coca-Cola Arena in Dubai, United Arab Emirates.
San Miguel halted NLEX's three-game winning streak and enabled the Beermen to grab a share of the lead at the top of the standings with idle TNT KaTropa at 3-0. NLEX fell to 3-1.
The Road Warriors got off to a slow start, falling 14-4 to open the game.
Kiefer Ravena, Erram and Kenneth Ighalo rallied NLEX and compensated for import Olu Ashaolu's sluggish start. Ravena finished with 20 points while Erram and Ighalo had 12 points each. Ashaolu, who entered the game averaging 25.6 points was held to just 11.
Wells led the Beermen with 32 points, while Alex Cabagnot and Fajardo chipped in 20 and 16.
The game was marred by several incidents. Terrence Romeo was ejected for a flagrant foul penalty 2 for head-butting NLEX guard Philip Paniamogan in the 10:23 mark of the fourth quarter.
Backup SMB big man Kelly Nabong was also ejected in the third quarter for earning his second technical foul. Christian Standhardinger and Ross each got a technical foul during separate incidents.
NLEX will not have much time to recover. The Road Warriors face the Barangay Ginebra Kings in the last PBA game in Dubai on Saturday night, 6 p.m. (10 p.m. Manila time).
San Miguel 98 - Wells 32, Cabagnot 20, Fajardo 16, Santos 9, Standhardinger 7, Ross 6, Pessumal 3, Nabong 3, Romeo 2, Rosser 0.
NLEX 94 - Ravena 20, Erram 12, Ighalo 12, Ashaolu 11, Cruz 11, Quinahan 9, Paniamogan 7, Galanza 7, Miranda 3, Fonacier 2, Varilla 0.
Quarterscores: 20-18, 42-41, 71-69, 98-94.