Reigning three-time MVP June Mar delivered import-like numbers, scoring season-high 41 points and 17 rebounds in a monster game to rescue the San Miguel Beermen from the resilient Kia Picanto, 118-112, in the Oppo PBA Governors’ Cup on Saturday at Mall of Asia Arena.
Fajardo poured in 32 points in the second half where the Beermen needed to come back from a double-digit deficit to fend off the winless Kia.
The Beermen struggled in the first two quarters against Kia which was determined to pull off a massive upset against the title contenders.
Behind import Geron Johnson’s 22 first half points, the Picanto stunned the Beermen and took control of the game. Kia held a 50-45 advantage at the half.
Kia continued its superb showing in the third period, extending its lead to 10 points, 82-72.
But the Picanto couldn’t find an answer to “The Kraken”. He started to impose his will inside against the undersized and helpless Kia frontline.
Fajardo’s easy layup underneath gave San Miguel the lead, 90-89, which was part of a 12-5 run the Beermen launched to start the fourth frame.
The Beermen never looked back since then, as their prolific all-Filipino crew outplayed Johnson and Kia en route to the win.
San Miguel improved to 6-3, tying TNT KaTropa for fourth place. The win also formalized the Beermen’s entry to the quarterfinals.
Kia meanwhile fell to 0-10 despite Johnson’s output of 42 points, 10 rebounds and eight assists.
SAN MIGUEL 118 – Fajardo 41, Watson 16, Lassiter 16, Santos 15, Ross 15, Cabagnot 11, Tubid 2, Espinas 2, Heruela 0, Pessumal 0, Rosser 0.
KIA 112 – Johnson 42, Yee 18, Corpuz 15, Paniamogan 14, Celda 9, Elorde 7, Salva 3, Camson 2, Ballesteros 2, Jaime 0, Deutchman 0.
Quarters: 25-25, 45-50, 78-84, 118-112.