MANILA, Philippines – San Miguel import Cameron Clark proved to be a thorn in the side of his former team NLEX and anchored a 120-106 win in the PBA Governors’ Cup at the PhilSports Arena on Wednesday, March 15.
Clark notched a conference-high 45 points as the Beermen improved to 8-2 and denied the Road Warriors – who ended the elimination round with a 7-4 card – from nailing the last twice-to-beat playoff bonus.
Pitted against the same NLEX squad he powered to the semifinals of the season-ending joust last season, Clark shot an ultra-efficient 17-of-27 clip (62%) and hauled down a game-high 17 rebounds.
Clark already registered a double-double of 21 points and 11 rebounds at halftime as San Miguel grabbed a 61-47 lead and never looked back.
Fresh from the PBA All-Star weekend in Passi City, Iloilo, CJ Perez backstopped Clark with 23 points, 7 rebounds, 4 assists, and 2 steals, while Jericho Cruz came off the bench and produced 16 points.
Perez assisted Clark for a resounding alley-oop dunk with under a minute remaining that put the nail in the coffin in the convincing victory.
Allyn Bulanadi fired 14 points off the bench, Marcio Lassiter chimed in 8 points, 6 rebounds, 4 assists, and 2 steals, and Simon Enciso added 8 points and 4 assists as the Beermen won despite missing June Mar Fajardo.
Fajardo is out for at least a month after injuring his left knee during their campaign in the East Asia Super League Champions Week in Japan.
Wayne Selden delivered 32 points, 6 assists, 4 rebounds, and 2 steals in the loss that booted the Road Warriors out of the race for a top-four finish, which merits a win-once incentive in the quarterfinals.
NLEX finished the eliminations tied with Meralco and Magnolia but settled for sixth place due to an inferior quotient after losing to both squads.
The Bolts secured the fourth seed by virtue of beating both the Road Warriors and the Hotshots, who wound up at fifth place.
Brandon Ganuelas-Rosser churned out a monster double-double of 29 points, 15 rebounds, and 3 blocks for NLEX, while Don Trollano got limited to just 14 points after coming off a 44-point explosion against Terrafirma.
San Miguel 120 – Clark 45, Perez 23, Cruz 16, Bulanadi 14, Enciso 8, Lassiter 8, Manuel 4, Tautuaa 2, Ross 0, Romeo 0, Brondial 0.
NLEX 106 – Selden Jr. 32, Ganuelas-Rosser 29, Trollano 14, Anthony 8, Semerad 6, Miranda 5, Rosales 5, Alas 5, Nieto 2.
Quarters: 28-19, 61-47, 88-75, 120-106.
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