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MANILA, Philippines (UPDATED) – The anticipated match-up between behemoths June Mar Fajardo and Greg Slaughter turned into a lopsided affair in favor of the reigning back-to-back PBA MVP’s squad.
The San Miguel Beermen were a well-oiled machine simply clicking on all cylinders in a blowout victory over the woeful Barangay Ginebra San Miguel, 100-82, in the 2016 PBA Philippine Cup on Sunday, November 15 at the PhilSports Arena in Pasig.
“I did not expect this will happen to us today, that we would have a big lead over Ginebra because I know they prepared well for us,” admitted head coach Leo Austria in Filipino.
Veteran Arwind Santos posted a game-high 24 points on 4 triples to go with 6 rebounds as the defending champions now temporarily hold solo first place at 4-1.
Ronald Tubid connected on 4 treys to contribute 15 points and 8 rebounds, while gunners Marcio Lassiter and Chris Ross finished with 13 and 10 points, respectively. Ross added 8 assists and two steals.
Fajardo prevailed over old collegiate rival Slaughter with 22 points and 14 rebounds, even fishing Slaughter’s 5th foul with 4:35 left to play.
Slaughter had a team-high 21 points, 11 rebounds, 3 assists, and two blocks for the Gin Kings.
Austria was quick to commend his ever-improving bigman, who stayed focused amid the hype surrounding his match-up with Slaughter.
“June Mar played one of his best games in our 5 matches so far. Maybe because of the hype that it’s June Mar Fajardo versus Greg Slaughter. I’m happy to see him maturing and he really carried our team,” Austria said.
“I told him before the game that this is not your fight. It’s the fight of our team. Your strength is with your teammates and we will provide the necessary help for you.”
Japeth Aguilar also led Ginebra with 21 points and 9 rebounds while Chris Ellis added 11 points.
Critical to Ginebra’s loss was bricking all 12 of their 3-point attempts while San Miguel, in contrast, sizzled for 14 triples.
The Beermen scored inside and out to dominate their foes, eventually posting a 23-point 94-71 lead on a pair of Alex Cabagnot free throws with under 4 minutes remaining.
The Gin Kings, who continue to struggle in the all-Filipino conference and failed to follow up its first win in Dubai over Alaska, dropped to 1-3.
San Miguel (100): Santos 24, Fajardo 22, Tubid 15, Lassiter 13, Ross 10, Cabagnot 8, Arana 6, Espinas 2, De Ocampo 0, Heruela 0, Lutz 0, Reyes 0.
Ginebra (82): Aguilar 21, Slaughter 21, Ellis 11, Caguioa 8, Mercado 7, Tenorio 4, Brondial 2, Devance 2, Helterbrand 2, Salva 2, Thompson 2, Marcelo 0, Mariano 0, Villamor 0.
Quarter scores: 23-23, 47-43, 73-60, 100-82.