San Miguel Beermen get season off to great start with win over Phoenix

·2 min read

THE San Miguel Beermen are off to a victorious start as they defeated the Phoenix Super LPG Fuel Masters, 108-100, on Wednesday in the PBA Season 47 Philippine Cup at the Smart-Araneta Coliseum.

Cebuano giant June Mar Fajardo was unstoppable all game long as he finished with 24 points on 9-of-11 along with 15 rebounds, six assists, and three blocks.

Vic Manuel was also a beast in the shaded lane as he pounded Phoenix’s defense and came away with 24 points of his own. CJ Perez added 19 points, six rebounds, and four steals while Chris Ross nearly had a triple-double with 17 points, 12 assists, and seven boards.

Eager to make up for their flameout in the last All-Filipino conference, San Miguel head coach Leo Austria said the team really prepared hard for this tournament.

“Once na natapos ‘yung SEA Games, June Mar and Mo (Tautuaa) were able to get to the team to practice. It gave us confidence kasi excited ‘yung mga players dahil sa nilaro ni June Mar,” said Austria.

“But I told them that June Mar is just another player of the team. We still have to work hard dahil alam ko na hinihingi ng mga players mismo na this is our conference. They initiated this kind of preparation,” Austria added.

Phoenix gave San Miguel a solid fight and the Beermen responded with seven points from Fajardo to finally put the game away.

The Fuel Masters were led by the 22 points and five assists of its main man, Matthew Wright. However, it was Phoenix’ rookies that raised eyebrows on Wednesday night as Tyler Tio showed his three-point shooting prowess and sank five triples to finish with 17 points.

Meanwhile, Encho Serrano—the team’s 19th pick—debuted with 15 points, eight boards, and five dimes.

Javee Mocon, who was recently acquired from Rain or Shine in a trade right before the start of the season, had five points and seven boards.

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