Make it a double celebration in Biñan on a Saturday night.
With reigning, four-time MVP June Mar Fajardo back in the fold, the San Miguel Beermen racked up their fourth straight victory in the 2018 PBA Governors’ Cup at the expense of the also-ran Rain or Shine Elasto Painters, 109-97.
Fajardo – who missed the entirety of the conference due to a stress fracture in his right shin – checked in at the 10:47-mark of the second quarter. He played for 10 minutes and 19 seconds and had two points, two rebounds, and an assist.
The Beermen improved to 6-4 and are currently in sixth place, but are still in the running for a Top Four spot.
Import Kevin Murphy led San Miguel with 28 points spiked by five treys with six rebounds and three assists. Alex Cabagnot flirted with a double-double, as he produced 24 points on 53 percent shooting and eight rebounds.
Christian Standhardinger nearly had his second straight 20-20 outing, as he made 22 points and 17 caroms.
The Beermen pulled away from the Elasto Painters in the second half. From a slim three-point lead, San Miguel unleashed a 22-8 blitz abridging the third and fourth quarters, for a commanding 95-77 lead with 10:08 on the clock.
Arwind Santos and Marcio Lassiter had 13 and 12 points, respectively, and had seven boards apiece.
Maverick Ahanmisi had 26 points, seven rebounds, and six dimes to pace Rain or Shine, who missed the services of Chris Tiu. Tiu is coming off a career-high outing of 24 points this past Wednesday versus the Phoenix Fuel Masters.
Jewel Ponferrada had 15 points, while import Terrence Watson had 13 markers and 15 rebounds against six errors.
Both squads will have their final game of the eliminations next Saturday, November 3. The Elasto Painters will play first at 4:30 PM versus the NLEX Road Warriors, while SMB will battle the Meralco Bolts at 6:45 PM.
San Miguel (109) – Murphy 28, Cabagnot 24, Standhardinger 22, Santos 13, Lassiter 12, Nabong 3, Ross 2, Fajardo 2, Heruela 1, Semerad 0, Agovida 0.
Rain or Shine (97) – Ahanmisi 26, Ponferrada 15, Watson 13, Norwood 9, Torres 8, Daquioag 6, Borboran 5, Casiño 4, Nambatac 3, Maiquez 3, Washington 3, Yap 2.
Quarterscores: 23-31, 59-55, 89-75, 109-97.
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