San Miguel escapes with OT win as Ginebra continues downward spiral

Delfin Dioquino

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San Miguel escapes with OT win as Ginebra continues downward spiral
June Mar Fajardo breaks out of his shell and pours in 24 points and 19 rebounds

MANILA, Philippines – In a game headlined by the import duel between Justin Brownlee and Renaldo Balkman, June Mar Fajardo turned out to be the biggest star. 

Following relatively quiet performances in the past few games, Fajardo broke out of his shell and poured in 24 points and 19 rebounds to power the Beermen to a 104-97 overtime win over Barangay Ginebra at the Mall of Asia Arena on Sunday, June 3.

With the Beermen trailing 91-93 down the stretch in regulation, the reigning 4-time MVP buried a jumper over Greg Slaughter with 1.1 seconds remaining to forge overtime.

Fajardo didn’t do much in extra period but it was Arwind Santos who took the scoring cudgels in overtime as he drained two triples that kept the Gin Kings at bay.

Santos finished with 19 points, with 8 coming in overtime alone, while import Renaldo Balkman chalked up 27 points on top of 11 rebounds, 3 assists and 3 blocks for San Miguel, which missed Christian Standhardinger’s services due to a swollen knee. 

After 3 straight losses, the Beermen have now won two straight games for a 2-3 card. 

Ginebra, meanwhile, continues its downward spiral as it crashed to its 5th loss in 6 outings. 

“Fortunately we’re able to get this win and I think it could be a good morale-booster for us going to the next game namin,” said San Miguel head coach Leo Austria.

“At 2-3, I think there’s a possibility that we can make it to the next round. I’m happy to see the players step up.”

The Beermen held a 60-52 lead in the 3rd quarter before Joe Devance caught fire and buried 3 straight triples to trim Ginebra’s deficit to a whister, 61-62. 

Devance drilled in another trey with less than 30 seconds left in regulation for a 92-91 lead but Ginebra failed to finish the job as Sol Mercado split his freebies that could have made it a 3-point game, paving the way for Fajardo’s heroics.

Justin Brownlee filled up the stats sheet for Ginebra with 18 points, 14 rebounds, 7 assists, 5 blocks and 3 steals only to get limited to just two points in the 4th quarter and overtime combined.

Japeth Aguilar had 17 points and 7 rebounds and Devance churned out 15 points in the loss.

The Scores:

San Miguel (104): Balkman 27, Fajardo 24, Santos 19, Lassiter 11, Ross 10, Cabagnot 9, Mamaril 4, Rosser 0

Ginebra (97): Brownlee 18, Aguilar 17, Devance 15, Thompson 13, Cruz 10, Slaughter 9, Mercado 8, Tenorio 7

Quarter scores: 23-20, 47-43, 71-73, 93-93, 104-97

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Delfin Dioquino

Delfin Dioquino dreamt of being a PBA player, but he did not have the skills to make it. So he pursued the next best thing to being an athlete – to write about them. He took up journalism at the University of Santo Tomas and joined Rappler as soon as he graduated in 2017.