PBA Commissioner’s Cup

San Miguel claims playoff bonus in Fajardo return, sends Blackwater to 10th straight loss

Delfin Dioquino

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San Miguel claims playoff bonus in Fajardo return, sends Blackwater to 10th straight loss

ESCAPE. Bennie Boatwright in action for the San Miguel Beermen in the 2023-24 PBA Commissioner's Cup.

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Import Bennie Boatwright dominates and June Mar Fajardo returns as San Miguel ends the elimination round of the PBA Commissioner's Cup on a five-game winning streak

MANILA, Philippines – San Miguel earned a coveted twice-to-beat advantage in the quarterfinals of the PBA Commissioner’s Cup after picking up a 125-117 win over Blackwater at the Araneta Coliseum on Friday, January 12.

Import Bennie Boatwright breached the 40-point mark for the second straight game as he fired 44 points on top of 12 rebounds and 5 assists, pushing the Beermen to an 8-3 record at the end of the elimination round.

Coming off a 51-point masterclass against Terrafirma last Sunday, January 7, Boatwright carried the fight for San Miguel early with 26 points in the first half before the locals – including returning star June Mar Fajardo – delivered late.

The Bossing reduced a lead as big as 17 points to a mere whisker, 106-107, before Fajardo scored a layup that sparked a 12-2 run which practically sealed the victory for the Beermen.

Back from a six-game absence brought by a hand injury, Fajardo finished with 11 points, 9 rebounds, and 6 assists in 33 minutes off the bench, including the short stab that gave San Miguel its biggest lead of the game at 75-58.

CJ Perez scored 15 points, Terrence Romeo posted 14 points and 6 assists, while Jericho Cruz churned out 12 points, 3 rebounds, and 3 assists in the win that marked the fifth straight for the loaded Beermen.

Don Trollano added 10 points and 5 rebounds for San Miguel, which is peaking at the right time with the playoffs approaching after dealing with several injuries throughout the eliminations.

Puerto Rican import Chris Ortiz engaged Boatwright in a high-scoring duel by erupting for 43 points, but that still went down the drain as Blackwater concluded the tournament on a 10-game skid and finished with a 1-10 card.

The Bossing, who hold the record for the longest losing streak in PBA history with 29 consecutive losses, currently own the longest active skid in the league.

The Scores

San Miguel 125 – Boatwright 44, Perez 15, Romeo 14, Cruz 12, Fajardo 11, Trollano 10, Tautuaa 8, Ross 6, Teng 5, Lassiter 0.

Blackwater 117 – Ortiz 43, Hill 14, Suerte 13, Amer 12, Kwukuteye 9, Sena 8, DiGregorio 7, Guinto 4, Ilagan 3, Concepcion 2, Jopia 2, Escoto 0.

Quarters: 27-25, 63-51, 98-86, 125-117.

– Rappler.com

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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.