MANILA -- (UPDATED) When in doubt, go to June Mar.
San Miguel relied on its five-time MVP Sunday and Fajardo delivered the goods, leading the Beermen to a 113-107 win over NorthPort in the 2019 PBA Philippine Cup at the Big Dome.
Fajardo scored 40 points and grabbed 18 rebounds in the close win, outplaying fellow former top pick in Mo Tautuaa as the reigning four-time champs picked up a fourth straight victory.
June Mar also assisted on a key play late, finding Chris Roos for a booming final triple as San Miguel put the Batang Pier away and improved to 6-3 for the season.
“We didn’t have a good start tonight,” head coach Leo Austria said as the Beermen were actually trailing at the break, 50-54.
“Fortunately, the players’ sense of urgency prevailed. They knew the importance of this game, it’s still possible [to make top-2],” he added.
San Miguel dropped 34 points in the third with Fajardo and Terrence Romeo at the lead.
That barrage allowed the Beermen to take a 15-point lead, 83-68, which they would never surrender even as the Batang Pier got as close to two points in the fourth.
After Fajardo, Romeo fired 23 points for the Beermen. Three others scored in double figures led by 15 from Marcio Lassiter.
It was a valiant effort for Northport but the team suffered a fifth straight loss for a 2-5 mark.
Mo Tautuaa tried to match Fajardo but to no avail. Still, he finished with a career-high 28 points to go along with 13 rebounds.
San Miguel 113 - Fajardo 40, Romeo 23, Lassiter 15, Santos 11, Nabong 11, Ross 9, Rosser 4, Cabagnot 0, Pessumal 0.
NorthPort 107 - Tautuaa 28, Anthony 16, Bolick 12, Grey 12, Taha 11, Elorde 11, Pringle 10, Lanete 5, Guinto 2, Gabayni 0, Sollano 0.
Quarter scores: 21-25, 50-54, 84-77, 113-107.
This story was originally published on the ABS-CBN Sports website.