The defending champions are now playing like one.
The San Miguel Beermen’s surge in the 2018 Commissioner’s Cup continued on Wednesday evening, as they tore apart the Columbian Dyip, 129-117, to collect their third straight victory, Wednesday night at the SMART Araneta Coliseum.
The Beermen improved to 3-3 for a share of the fifth spot in the team standings with the Phoenix Fuel Masters and the recently-beaten Magnolia Hotshots, while the Dyip absorbed their third straight loss and are now 3-5.
“Maraming salamat sa Panginoon at binigyan kami ng panalo, alam naman natin na napakahirap na manalo. Everytime we face KIA, I’m worried because we have a history against a team,” said head coach Leo Austria.
“Even in elimination or tune up game, hirap na hirap kami manalo dito,” he added.
June Mar Fajardo powered the Beermen with 37 points — his fourth career-best — on 15-of-21 shooting along with 18 rebounds. Renaldo Balkman showed all-around brilliance once more with 27 markers, 18 boards, and six assists.
Alex Cabagnot made his presence felt strongly in the win, producing a rare triple-double of 20 points, 10 assists, and 10 rebounds in over 31 minutes.
The Beermen were finding it hard at first to repel the Dyip in the high-scoring affair, but it all changed in the payoff period when they unloaded a 16-7 scoring spree en route to a 17-point lead, 113-96, with 5:44 left to play.
The wall then proved to be insurmountable for Columbian, who could not mount any sort of comeback, practically allowing San Miguel to turn the Big Dome into their own playground.
Arwind Santos had a double-double of his own, with 18 markers and 11 caroms with two dimes and two steals. ChrIs Ross, who talked trash to Dyip import John Fields, finished with 10 points, eight feeds, and six boards.
Fields finished with 19 points and 22 rebounds for Dyip. Reden Celda and Rashawn McCarthy both scored 19 markers also, with the former adding 10 assists to his name. Dylan Ababou chipped in 14 markers.
The Beermen reigned supreme also in the rebounding category, 70-45.
San Miguel will look to extend their run against the GlobalPort Batang Pier on June 13, Wednesday, 4:30 PM, at the Mall of Asia Arena. Columbian, meanwhile, will aim to bounce back versus Phoenix on Sunday, June 10, 4:30 PM still at the Big Dome.
San Miguel 129 – Fajardo 37, Balkman 27, Cabagnot 20, Santos 18, Ross 10, Mamaril 6, Lassiter 6, Pessumal 5, Ganuelas-Rosser 0, Lanete 0, Vigil 0
Columbian 117 – McCarthy 19, Fields 19, Celda 19, Ababou 14, Lastimosa 13, Camson 12, Khobuntin 9, Tubid 6, Escoto 6, King 0, Cahilig 0, Corpuz 0, Cabrera 0
Quarterscores: 31-33, 69-55, 97-89, 129-117