PBA: San Miguel opens post-Austria era with rout of Phoenix

Camille B. Naredo, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Jan 29 2023 09:31 PM | Updated as of Jan 29 2023 10:25 PM

San Miguel center June Mar Fajardo rises for a jump shot over Phoenix Super LPG's defense. PBA Images.
San Miguel center June Mar Fajardo rises for a jump shot over Phoenix Super LPG's defense. PBA Images.

MANILA, Philippines -- (UPDATED) The San Miguel Beermen are off to a flying start in the 2023 PBA Governors' Cup, as they crushed the Phoenix Super LPG Fuel Masters 114-93 on Sunday night at the Ynares Center in Antipolo.

Five players scored in double-digits for the Beermen in their romp, which saw them torch Phoenix Super LPG for 42 points in the opening period. San Miguel would lead by as much as 33 points in the second quarter.

It's an auspicious start for new San Miguel coach Jorge Gallent, who officially replaced Leo Austria as the Beermen's coach ahead of the season-ending conference. Austria stayed on with the team as a consultant though he was not present on the bench for Sunday night's game.

Import Cameron Clark paced San Miguel with 23 points on 10-of-16 shooting along with seven rebounds, while six-time Most Valuable Player June Mar Fajardo finished with a double-double of 19 points and 13 rebounds.

Allyn Bulanadi, in his first game as a Beerman, had 16 points off the bench while making six of his 12 shots, including three three-pointers. 

The Fuel Masters dropped to 0-3 in the conference.

The Beermen were in control all the way through, pulling away by as much as 33 points, 62-29, with 4:25 to play in the second period off a Fajardo and-1.

But the Fuel Masters threatened late, coming as close as 10 points, 97-87, midway through the final frame.

San Miguel responded with a 9-0 blast off back-to-back triples by Marcio Lassiter and Simon Enciso, plus a CJ Perez and-1, to keep Phoenix Super LPG at bay. They rebuilt a comfortable 106-87 spread with 3:23 left, and cruised to victory from there. 

"We just can't relax. As what I always tell them, we always have to play 48 minutes. If we tend to relax, we're giving the opponent chances to come back. So, we just have to play hard for 48 minutes. Whether you're coming off the bench or you're starting, you have to give that energy when you're inside the court," said Gallent of his squad.

The struggling Fuel Masters got 21 points and 14 rebounds from import Du'vaughn Maxwell, while Larry Muyang added 15 points. But they shot just 37.4% from the game, and more crucially, allowed the Beermen to convert 54.2% of their own field goals. 

San Miguel was 14-of-29 from long distance, and scored 27 points off Phoenix Super LPG's 19 turnovers.

The Scores:

SAN MIGUEL 114 – Clark 23, Fajardo 19, Perez 18, Bulanadi 16, Enciso 14, Lassiter 11, Tautuaa 9, Cruz 2, Brondial 2, Ross 0

PHOENIX 93 – Maxwell 21, Muyang 15, Perkins 12, Serrano 12, Alejandro 9, Jazul 8, Manganti 4, Tio 4, Camacho 2, Soyud 2, Lojera 0, Lalata 0, Go 0

QUARTERS: 42-41, 66-37, 89-68, 114-93

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