PBA Philippine Cup

Though still unbeaten vs Ginebra, perfect San Miguel stays level-headed

Delfin Dioquino

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Though still unbeaten vs Ginebra, perfect San Miguel stays level-headed

DRIVE. CJ Perez in action for the San Miguel Beermen in the 2024 PBA Philippine Cup.

PBA Images

San Miguel improves to 5-0 against Barangay Ginebra this season and remains the only undefeated team in the PBA Philippine Cup

MANILA, Philippines – San Miguel has proven to be a tough nut to crack for Barangay Ginebra.

The Beermen stayed unbeaten against the Gin Kings this season and remained the only perfect team in the PBA Philippine Cup after a 95-92 escape at the Araneta Coliseum on Friday, April 5.

MVP contenders CJ Perez and June Mar Fajardo turned in a pair of double-doubles as San Miguel improved to 5-0 against Ginebra this season and hiked its record in the prestigious All-Filipino tournament to 4-0.

The win further reinforced the belief that the Beermen are bound to defend their throne, but Fajardo is not one to get caught up in the hoopla of their flawless run.

“Coach always reminds us that we should not get complacent,” said the seven-time league MVP in Filipino. “We should strive to play better and execute our plays.”

Fajardo churned out 14 points and 10 rebounds, while Perez put up 18 points, 10 assists, 4 rebounds, and 4 steals – the two scoring 8 points apiece in the third quarter to help San Miguel mount a commanding 82-66 lead.

But that double-digit cushion quickly vanished after the Gin Kings inched within 91-93 off a 25-11 run capped by a Maverick Ahanmisi triple with 1:10 minutes remaining.

Fortunately for San Miguel, its vaunted depth once again worked wonders as Jericho Cruz – who failed to buy a bucket in the entire second half – scored a layup to give the Beermen just enough separation to escape.

Don Trollano also delivered 15 points and 8 rebounds, Mo Tautuaa tallied 12 points, 5 rebounds, and 2 blocks, while Terrence Romeo added 11 points and 4 assists.

“What is good about this team is when we play games, we try to improve and we try to get better on things that we have to get better at,” said San Miguel head coach Jorge Gallent.

Christian Standhardinger paced the Gin Kings with 14 points, 17 rebounds, 6 assists, and 2 steals, Japeth Aguilar scored 17 points, Maverick Ahanmisi posted 16 points and 10 rebounds, while Stanley Pringle chimed in 15 points.

Jamie Malonzo contributed 14 points, 7 rebounds, and 4 assists for Ginebra, which fell to 3-2.

The Scores

San Miguel 95 – Perez 18, Trollano 15, Fajardo 14, Tautuaa 12, Romeo 11, Brondial 8, Cruz 8, Lassiter 6, Ross 3, Manuel 0, Enciso 0.

Barangay Ginebra 92 – J. Aguilar 17, Ahanmisi 16, Pringle 15, Malonzo 14, Standhardinger 14, Tenorio 8, Onwubere 8, David 0, Gumaru 0, Cu 0, Pinto 0.

Quarters: 33-18, 56-50, 82-66, 95-92.

– 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.