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Fajardo swats away the competition to lead San Miguel to an 87-80 victory over Purefoods



The San Miguel Beermen took down a depleted Purefoods squad to hold a 2-0 record for the tournament. Purefoods are already without Marc Pingris, who is resting from his Gilas stint, and Ian Sangalang, who suffered an ACL injury during their last game. The Hotshots were also without star James Yap, who did not play due to an unknown injury. SMB was led by big man Junmar Fajardo, who towered over everyone else with 22 points, 15 rebounds, and a whopping 6 blocks.

Despite trailing at the end of the first quarter, 21-22, San Miguel was able to bounce back during the second quarter. The Beermen clamped down on defense and outscored their opponents 21-7 to close out the second quarter. They held a 47-33 lead, headed by Fajardo who had 12 points and 6 rebounds to end the half.

The start of the third quarter showcased a duel between Fajardo and Purefoods’ Yousef Taha. A bucket by Fajardo was answered by a putback by Taha. Junmar responded with a turnaround jumper followed by 2 freethrow baskets, and Taha kept the pace with a floater of his own. By this time San Miguel held a 53-37 lead. Arwind Santos answered with a triple that pushed the lead to 19, the biggest lead of the game, 56-37. Purefoods fought back, cutting their deficit to 9 at the end of the quarter, 66-57.

Tubid’s back-to-back triples were answered by two baskets from Purefoods’ Marc Barroca to start the fourth. Barroca and Taha attempted to stage a comeback, getting their team within 4, 80-76, but baskets from Fajardo and Chris Lutz kept Purefoods from taking the match. A Lutz floater sealed the victory for San Miguel, 87-80.

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