The Kraken was unleashed on Wednesday night, as June Mar Fajardo collected 34 points to power the San Miguel Beermen past the GlobalPort Batang Pier, 107-93, en route to their fifth straight victory at the SMART Araneta Coliseum.
The league’s reigning, four-time Most Valuable Player scored 10 in the Beermen’s game-sealing 21-2 rally from an 80-83 deficit, to thwart the challenge Batang Pier imposed and help SMB keep their win-loss record intact at 5-0.
Fajardo also added 13 rebounds, three assists, and three blocks to his name.
“June Mar Fajardo was there for us,” lauded head coach Leo Austria of the Cebuano superstar’s outing. “Kung kailan kailangan namin ng puntos nandun siya.”
The Beermen missed the services of Alex Cabagnot due to plantar fasciitis, which will sideline him for three to four weeks. But luckily for SMB, Brian Heruela stepped up and unloaded 17 points, five rebounds, and six steals.
“Heruela stole the show from June Mar,” said Austria of the 5-foot-10 guard, who turned in his best performance in an SMB uniform. He was just two points of shy of tying his career-high, which he made during his Blackwater days.
And aside from Heruela, Matt Ganuelas-Rosser also made his mark in the victory. The six-foot-six Filipino-American point guard accomplished a double-double of 10 points and 12 rebounds, along with four steals in 26 minutes.
“I’m happy that the bench players stepped up,” said Austria.
Arwind Santos displayed all-around brilliance for SMB once more with 17 points spiked by four treys, on top of 10 rebounds and six assists. Marcio Lassiter also scored 17 on 17 shots along with two blocks.
The Batang Pier, who had been riding a two-game winning streak prior to Wednesday, were led by Stanley Pringle’s 23 points and six rebounds. Sean Anthony and Kelly Nabong each scored 17, and combined for 13 of their 49 caroms.
Both squads will return to action this Sunday, January 28, still at the Big Dome. GlobalPort will take to the court first at 4:30 PM versus the Meralco Bolts, while San Miguel will face sister team Barangay Ginebra San Miguel at the 7:00 PM main event.
San Miguel 107 – Fajardo 34, Lassiter 17, Santos 17, Heruela 17, Ganuelas-Rosser 10, Ross 6, De Ocampo 4, Pessumal 2, Mamaril 0, Semerad 0, Vigil 0.
GlobalPort 93 – Pringle 23, Nabong 15, Anthony 15, Arana 11, Grey 9, Gabayni 6, Sargent 4, Guinto 4, Juico 3, Elorde 3, Taha 0, Flores 0.
Quarterscores: 22-25, 43-47, 74-72, 107-93.