MANILA, Philippines – Cameron Clark delivered the goods in the fourth quarter as San Miguel eked out a 94-86 decision against Meralco to go 5-0 in the 2023 PBA Governors’ Cup on Thursday, February 9 at the Smart-Araneta Coliseum.
The import scored 6 of his 28 points in the final 3:26, including a tough contested jumper at the 30.8-second mark, stopping a possible comeback surge by the Bolts as the gap got trimmed from 13 to just 3.
“Players are playing hard, they’re playing together. The credit is all on them,” Beermen head coach Jorge Gallent said after the game. “They’re really doing a good job listening and learning and listening to the defensive and offensive schemes of the team.”
“[Clark] is a big factor here in this 5-0 start. We’re 5-0 because they played hard, and learned to play with one another. That’s the reason they are 5-0,” he added.
Guard CJ Perez chipped in 19 points, while Jericho Cruz added 13 of his own, both also scoring 6 points in the payoff period.
June Mar Fajardo likewise delivered with an 11-point, 14-rebound double-double in 39 minutes of play.
Falling behind early on, San Miguel overtook Meralco in the tail half of the first and never looked back.
The Beermen then outscored the Bolts 26-19 to take a 44-33 lead at intermission.
In the third, Meralco was able to knot things up at 51-all, but import KJ McDaniels was whistled for his fourth foul with 7:02 to go in the quarter.
San Miguel took advantage by scoring 11 unanswered points to take a 62-51 lead, before the Bolts whittled down the gap to six, 69-63, heading to the final 12 minutes.
Chris Newsome and McDaniels each scored 19 for Meralco, while Allein Maliksi knocked down 16 markers as their team fell to 3-2.
San Miguel 94 – Clark 28, Perez 19, Cruz 13, Fajardo 11, Enciso 8, Lassiter 7, Bulanadi 6, Ross 2, Tautuaa 0, Brondial 0.
Meralco 86 – McDaniels 18, Newsome 18, Maliksi 16, Banchero 7, Black 5, Pasaol 5, Hodge 4, Caram 3, Quinto 3, Almazan 3, Jose 2, Pascual 2.
Quarters: 18-14, 44-33, 69-63, 94-86.
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