Alex Cabagnot returned triumphant, and helped the San Miguel Beermen end their two-game skid in the 2019 PBA Philippine Cup at the expense of the Blackwater Elite, 93-79, Wednesday night at the SM Mall of Asia Arena in Pasay.
The still-masked Cabagnot – who has come back from a hamstring injury – was responsible for the Beermen’s fourth quarter breakaway. His basket with 5:51 left to play propelled San Miguel to their biggest lead at 21, 87-66.
Cabagnot finished with 19 points on an efficient 8-of-15 shooting from the field along with five assists, a rebound, a steal, and a block in over 24 minutes.
“Well, Alex, welcome back,” said San Miguel head coach Leo Austria. “So far he’s okay. The doctor has yet to give him the full clearance, but he’s really eager to play. He wants to win dahil ayaw niyang nakikita yung team na natatalo.”
Reigning, five-time league MVP June Mar Fajardo led the Beermen with 20 points, 21 rebounds, five assists, and four blocks. Meanwhile, Terrence Romeo played his best game yet in a San Miguel uniform with 17 points, five boards, and four dimes.
Chris Ross supplied 14 points, seven rebounds, and six assists in the win.
San Miguel were able to rack up the impressive win even without the services of Christian Standhardinger due to his recurring knee issue; while swingmen Von Pessumal and Marcio Lassiter sat out as they both had flu-like symptoms.
“Well, it’s a good win for us, and this win will serve as a morale-booster for us. We’re able to arrest our losing streak, which is two. Marami sa amin yun eh. De, nagbibiro lang ako,” said the multi-titled mentor with a slight grin.
Roi Sumang led Blackwater with 17 points, six assists, and five rebounds. Mike Di Gregorio chipped in 13 markers, while gunslinger Allein Maliksi churned out a double-double performance with 13 points and 13 rebounds.
Rookie Abu Tratter – who had expressed how much he looked forward to facing the 6-foot-10 Fajardo, his former teammate in Gilas Pilipinas – was just a point away from a double-double, as tallied nine points and 12 rebounds.
San Miguel will next play the Magnolia Hotshots this Sunday, February 10, 6:45 PM at SMART Araneta Coliseum. Meanwhile, Blackwater will face the Barangay Ginebra San Miguel next this Saturday, February 9 in Digos, Davao del Sur.
San Miguel 93 – Fajardo 20, Cabagnot 19, Romeo 17, 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.
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