PBA Commissioner’s Cup

Fajardo steadies ship late as San Miguel keeps Converge winless in Tiaong

Delfin Dioquino

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Fajardo steadies ship late as San Miguel keeps Converge winless in Tiaong

KRAKEN. June Mar Fajardo in action for the San Miguel Beermen in the 2023-24 PBA Commissioner's Cup.

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June Mar Fajardo, CJ Perez, and import Ivan Aska score at least 20 points each as San Miguel wins back-to-back games and deals Converge its fourth consecutive defeat

MANILA, Philippines – San Miguel denied Converge a breakthrough win in the PBA Commissioner’s Cup after earning a 105-96 victory on the road at the Tiaong Convention Center in Quezon on Saturday, November 25.

Three players scored at least 20 points each for the Beermen, who won back-to-back games and dealt the lowly FiberXers their fourth consecutive defeat.

Import Ivan Aska produced 28 points and 11 rebounds, CJ Perez posted 24 points, 11 rebounds, 5 assists, and 4 steals, while June Mar Fajardo tallied 22 points, 9 rebounds, 4 assists, 3 blocks, and 2 steals.

Aska set the tone early as he poured 22 points of his output in the first half to help San Miguel mount a 50-37 halftime lead before Perez and Fajardo took over in the last two quarters.

Seven-time league MVP Fajardo particularly dominated in the second half as he scattered 20 points over that span, including 11 points in a decisive fourth quarter that saw the Beermen fend off an inspired Converge fightback.

The FiberXers got within a whisker with under eight minutes left off a Mac Tallo three-pointer, 84-85, before Fajardo went on a personal 8-0 blitz to restore order for his side.

Veteran guard Chris Ross added 6 points, 5 rebounds, and 4 assists for San Miguel, which improved to 2-1 as it welcomed back Marcio Lassiter and Jericho Cruz from their respective injuries.

Cruz put up 6 points and 2 rebounds in 20 minutes of action, while Lassiter went scoreless in just two minutes of play.

Although Cruz and Lassiter returned, the Beermen remained shorthanded following the recent injuries to Terrence Romeo (knee) and Kyt Jimenez (face).

New Zealand import Tom Vodanovich churned out an 11-point, 20-rebound double-double in the loss as Converge fell to 0-4 for a tie at last place with Rain or Shine.

Aljun Melecio topscored for the FiberXers with 17 points.

The Scores

San Miguel 105 – Aska 28, Perez 24, Fajardo 22, Enciso 8, Bulanadi 7, Ross 6, Cruz 6, Tautuaa 2, Brondial 2, Lassiter 0.

Converge 96 – Melecio 17, Santos 11, Vodanovich 11, Balanza 10, Stockton 9, Fornilos 9, Zaldivar 8, Winston 8, Tallo 8, Arana 5, Wong 0, Racal 0.

Quarters: 24-12, 50-37, 74-67, 105-96

– 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.