San Miguel’s June Mar Fajardo. –PBA IMAGES
MANILA, Philippines–San Miguel used weapons of both old and new to take down Rain or Shine, 99-93, in the 2022 PBA Philippine Cup Wednesday night at Smart Araneta Coliseum.
Cornerstone June Mar Fajardo played with sustained brilliance while CJ Perez delivered the scoring punch as the Beermen rose to 5-1 overall to claim the solo leadership of the race.
“We’re not able to finish early—in the third or the first few minutes of the fourth quarter—but this game should develop the character of the team,” said head coach Leo Austria.
“We’re now learning how to win tight games. Before, we knew how to. But because a lot of original players are no longer with the team, and because our injuries [we have to re-learn],” he added.
Fajardo finished with 10 points, 16 rebounds, and a career-best seven assists. Perez, meanwhile, starred with led the way with 21 points that went with five assists.
Also coming through for San Miguel is Marcio Lassiter who finished with 16 points. Jericho Cruz added 14 while Simon Enciso had 12 to hand the Painters their fifth straight loss in six games.
Rain or Shine kept the game reach behind Jewel Ponferrada’s 20 points and Rey Nambatac’s 18. Norbert Torres added 16 more while Andrei Caracut 11 as the blue-collar crew continue to grope for relief.
San Miguel hopes to annex a third straight win when it plays NorthPort this Saturday.
Rain or Shine, on the other hand, will try to put a stop to its miseries when it takes on Meralco next week.