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PBA: June Mar Fajardo too much to handle for Converge, powers SMB to second straight win

June Mar Fajardo was simply the difference as San Miguel warded off Converge, taking a wire-to-wire 105-96 victory to post its second straight win in the PBA Season 48 Commissioner’s Cup, Saturday night at the Tiaong Convention Center in Quezon.

The reigning seven-time MVP provided the much-needed stability for the Beermen in the fourth, scoring eight points in a row after the FiberXers crawled back from as much as 18 down and got to within a point, 85-84, with 7:25 to go.

He then dished out key assists to Simon Enciso and CJ Perez afterwards as the crew kept the game under control the rest of the way en route to emerging triumphant in the league’s first official out-of-town game in the pandemic.

Fajardo finished with 22 points on a 52-percent clip from the field, nine rebounds, four assists, two steals, and three blocks for SMB, who improved to 2-1 and is now joining TNT, Ginebra, and Meralco at third in the standings.

Ivan Aska top-scored for San Miguel with 28 points, 13 of which he made in the first quarter alone to steer his side to a 24-12 lead. The 33-year-old forward also had 11 rebounds, an assist, a pair of steals, and a block.

Perez came through with a double-double of his own as he had 24 points and 11 rebounds, together with five assists and four steals in a turnover-less outing.

The Beermen played without Terrence Romeo, who’s still facing knee issues. Also out were rookie guard Kyt Jimenez due to an orbital fracture as well as Jeron Teng, who’s still recovering from a hamstring injury.

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San Miguel will next face the 0-4 Rain or Shine on November 29, Wednesday, 8 p.m. at the SMART Araneta Coliseum in an aim to win its third straight.

Aljun Melecio, meanwhile, led the FiberXers with 17 points on five three-pointers in the defeat that kept the squad winless in four games.

Big man Bryan Santos had 11 points as he played extended minutes for the flu-stricken Justin Arana, who only had five points. Import Tom Vodanovich had 11 as well on 13 shots in his lowest output thus far in this conference.

Converge will look to end its luckless stretch against Phoenix Super LPG next Saturday, December 2, 3 p.m. at the Philsports Arena in Pasig.

The Scores:

San Miguel 105 – Aska 28, Perez 24, Fajardo 22, Enciso 8, Bulanadi 7, Ross 6, Cruz 6, Tautuaa 2, Brondial 2, Lassiter 0.

Converge 96 – Melecio 17, Santos 11, Vodanovich 11, Balanza 10, Stockton 9, Fornilos 9, Zaldivar 8, Winston 8, Tallo 8, Arana 5, Wong 0, Racal 0.

Quarterscores: 24-12, 50-37, 74-67, 105-96.

Written By

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

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