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PBA: San Miguel opens Gallent-era with rout of Phoenix

ANTIPOLO – San Miguel began life without Leo Austria in dominant fashion as it kept Phoenix Super LPG winless following a 114-93 decimation in the PBA Governors’ Cup, Sunday night at the Ynares Center here.

The Beermen exploded for 41 points in the first quarter alone while limiting their struggling foes to just half of their output, setting the tone for the lopsided affair that eventually led to a rousing debut in the season-ending conference.

SMB, furthermore, gave Jorge Gallent a triumphant first game since being named as the team’s new head coach to take the place of Austria, who steered the ball club to a total of nine championships in the last eight years.

“As I told them, we just have to fix minor things. But nothing major. The things we were doing in the past few games, we just fixed it a little. Which we’re doing good,” said the seasoned mentor, who’s been with the team since 2011.

And in true San Miguel fashion, a total of six players finished in double figures, with Cam Clark leading the way with 23 points and seven rebounds,

MVP frontrunner June Mar Fajardo finished with 19 points and 13 rebounds. CJ Perez made 18 points, five rebounds, and seven assists.

New guy Allyn Bulanadi wasted no time proving his worth with 16 points, 13 of which he made in the first half to help his side mount a 62-29 advantage during the second quarter — the game’s biggest lead.

Simon Enciso supplied 14 points while Marcio Lassiter added 11 markers as the two combined for seven of the Beermen’s 14 three-pointers.

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One of Lassiter’s triples proved to be so important for San Miguel as it doused cold water to the Fuel Masters’ attempt that saw the latter come within just a decade, 97-87, past the midway mark of the final period.

His shot was followed up by another trey from Enciso, and Perez helped out afterwards for a 9-0 run to reestablish order, 106-87, with 3:23 left.

“When leads go down, it’s a challenge for the team to recover and to bring it up again. That’s what they did. When the lead went down, we did not panic at all. We just stayed composed,” Gallent lauded.

“And the lead went up again. We didn’t get into that panic stage, which is good. This team is very composed. Once there’s leads that go up to 30 and down to 10, I’m very confident that they can survive that.”

San Miguel will take on the 1-1 Blackwater Bossing next on Wednesday, 3 p.m., at the Philsports Arena in Pasig.

Du’Vaughn Maxwell, meanwhile, finished with 21 points and 14 rebounds to lead Phoenix, who fell to 0-3 following its worst loss of the conference to date.

Larry Muyang had 15 points, Jason Perkins made 12 points, seven rebounds, and five assists, as Encho Serrano added 14 in the defeat.

The Fuel Masters hope to break through against NorthPort on Thursday, 4:30 p.m. also at Philsports in a battle of 0-3 teams.

The Scores:

San Miguel 114 – Clark 23, Fajardo 19, Perez 18, Bulanadi 16, Enciso 14, Lassiter 11, Tautuaa 9, Cruz 2, Brondial 2, Ross 0.

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Phoenix Super LPG 93 – Maxwell 21, Muyang 15, Perkins 12, Serrano 12, Alejandro 9, Jazul 8, Manganti 4, Tio 4, Camacho 2, Soyud 2, Lojera 0, Lalata 0, Go 0.

Quarterscores: 42-21, 66-37, 89-68, 114-93.

The second game of each PBA gameday is live-streamed on SMART Sports.

Written By

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

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