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PBA: CJ Perez shines as San Miguel continues winning streak at Phoenix expense

San Miguel remained unbeaten in the PBA Season 48 Philippine Cup by adding to Phoenix’s woes, 116-102, Sunday at the SMART Araneta Coliseum.

The reigning champions seized control in the third and finished strongly to chalk up their third win in as many games and remain atop the standings, leaving head coach Jorge Gallent satisfied after facing struggles in their buildup.

“We were having a hard time during the All-Star because the guys that stayed here were only four … we only practiced as a team Tuesday lang. We only had four days of preparation,” said the veteran mentor.

CJ Perez lit up the scoreboard with a season-high 32 points to lead the Beermen, carrying over his fine play from the recent All-Star Weekend in Bacolod that saw him erupt for 39 points for Team Mark Barroca.

The Season 48 Commissioner’s Cup BPC scored 12 of his points in the fourth quarter, helping his side close the game out and eventually send the injury-riddled Fuel Masters reeling to their fourth defeat in five outings.

“He realized that he’s a shooter after the All-Star Game. I guess the four-point shots gave him the confidence to shoot threes now,” said Gallent as Perez shot 4-of-8 from deep after going only 1-of-2 in their first two games.

Jericho Cruz made 17 points. Terrence Romeo supplied 16 points on 6-of-12 shooting from the field, while Don Trollano had 10 points and five rebounds as the seasoned troika produced the majority of SMB’s 59 bench points.

Cruz and Trollano were part of the crew that put together 10 straight points to stretch their lead to 17 points, 73-56, with 5:06 left in the third.

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June Mar Fajardo finished with a double-double of 13 points and 12 rebounds as five players registered double figures in the win that saw them lead by as many as 18 points, 116-98, with under a minute left in the game.

The win should serve as a solid warmup for their rivalry clash versusGinebra on Friday, April 5 at 7:30 p.m. still at the Big Dome.

JJ Alejandro and Matthew Daves, meanwhile, had 13 points apiece for Phoenix, who continues to miss the services of lead guard Tyler Tio due to a grade 3 ankle sprain and Raul Soyud because of a hamstring injury.

Javee Mocon made 12 points and seven rebounds. Jason Perkins submitted an 11-11-5 stat line while Ricci Rivero and Kent Salado added 10 apiece.

The Fuel Masters will try to maximize their lengthy break ahead before returning to action on April 12 versus Converge at the Philsports Arena in Pasig.

The Scores:

San Miguel 116 – Perez 32, Cruz 17, Romeo 16, Trollano 10, Tautuaa 8, Lassiter 6, Brondial 6, manuel 4, Enciso 3, Teng 1, Ross 0.

Phoenix 102 – Alejandro 13, Daves 13, Mocon 12, Perkins 11, Salado 10, Rivero 10, Tuffin 9, Muyang 6, Jazul 5, Verano 5, Manganti 4, Camaco 2, Lalata 2, Garcia 0.

Quarterscores: 27-23, 49-45, 86-75, 116-102.

Written By

Oftentimes on the sidelines. Forever a student of the game. Morayta-bred.

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