PBA: San Miguel routs Blackwater for 2-0 slate

Camille B. Naredo, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Feb 01 2023 05:07 PM | Updated as of Feb 01 2023 05:57 PM

Jericho Cruz starred for San Miguel Beer in their comfortable win over Blackwater. PBA Images.
Jericho Cruz starred for San Miguel Beer in their comfortable win over Blackwater. PBA Images.

MANILA, Philippines -- (UPDATED) San Miguel Beer cruised to a second straight victory in the 2023 PBA Governors' Cup after blasting the Blackwater Bossing, 105-86, on Wednesday afternoon at the Philsports Arena in Pasig City.

The Beermen pulled away, thanks to a superb second quarter that saw them out-score the Bossing, 30-11. They led by as much as 30 points in the first half, 63-33, off two charities by import Cameron Clark.

Blackwater made a run in the second half and came within 13 points early in the final quarter, but the lead was too much for them to overcome.

Five players scored in double-digits for San Miguel, with Jericho Cruz coming off the bench to score 22 points on 9-of-13 shooting. Clark finished with 20 points and nine rebounds, while June Mar Fajardo had a massive 17-point, 16-rebound double-double.

The Bossing dropped to 1-2 in the conference.

"The players are playing well. They're defending well," said SMB coach Jorge Gallent of his team. "It's our defense triggering our offense. So if it stays like that, then we're fine."

Blackwater entered the game averaging 105 points in their first two games, but they were undone by a poor second quarter where they scored just 11 points. The Bossing went 5-of-21 from the field in the pivotal frame.

Cruz nearly matched Blackwater's effort by himself, making four of six field goals for 10 points in the quarter. Fajardo also feasted inside, with eight points and seven rebounds in the frame.

The Bossing fought back in the second half and trimmed the deficit to 13 points, 85-72, with still over 11 minutes to play off a Tyrus Hill bucket. But the Beermen were ready to respond every time. Chris Ross answered Hill's floater with a three-pointer, and the Bossing could not make any headway from that point on.

They got within 14 points off a bucket by Gab Banal with three minutes to go, 98-84, but a bucket by Clark and two free throws by Fajardo ended their hopes of a rally. 

"There are certain times that [the energy] goes down, and it really happens. But at least, we're confident enough that we can bring up the lead again, which is nice," said Gallent.

Import Shawn Glover led Blackwater with 16 points, going just 7-of-19 from the field. Joshua Torralba added 11 points, as the Bossing committed 19 turnovers that led to 24 points for the Beermen. 

Blackwater dropped to 1-2 in the conference.

The scores:

San Miguel 105 – Cruz 22, Clark 20, Fajardo 17, Perez 14, Lassiter 13, Enciso 9, Tautuaa 7, Ross 3, Bulanadi 0, Brondial 0.

Blackwater 86 – Glover 16, Torralba 11, Ilagan 10, Taha 8, Banal 8, Hill 8, Ular 6, Casio 6, Ayonayon 5, Amer 4, Suerte 2, Escoto 2, DiGregorio 0.

Quarters: 33-24, 63-35, 83-68, 105-86