PBA: San Miguel overpowers Blackwater for third consecutive win

Camille B. Naredo, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Jul 28 2021 02:51 PM | Updated as of Jul 28 2021 03:15 PM

PBA: San Miguel overpowers Blackwater for third consecutive win 1
Alex Cabagnot and the San Miguel Beermen improved to 3-1 in the conference. PBA Media Bureau.

MANILA, Philippines -- (UPDATED) The San Miguel Beermen used a big third quarter to cruise to their third consecutive win, 99-80, over the Blackwater Bossing on Wednesday at the Ynares Sports Arena in Pasig City.

After squandering a double-digit lead in the second frame, San Miguel exploded for 30 points in the third quarter to pull away again. June Mar Fajardo played his best game of the season so far, putting up 16 points on 6-of-8 shooting along with 11 rebounds.

Arwind Santos added a double-double of 10 points and 12 boards, while Marcio Lassiter (13), Alex Cabagnot (12), Paul Zamar (11), CJ Perez (14) and Von Pessumal (10) all reached double-digits as well. The Beermen got 43 points from their bench in the win.

"My veterans stepped up, especially Alex, and Arwind Santos. With the support of the bench, na-sustain namin 'yung lead namin in the second half," said SMB coach Leo Austria. "I think it's a collective effort on the part of the team, and I'm happy for the second group."

SMB improved to 3-1 in the 2021 PBA Philippine Cup, having now won three straight games after dropping their season opener to Meralco. 

The Beermen took a 12-point lead in the second quarter, 35-23, off a Lassiter three-pointer but gave up 14 unanswered points to Blackwater, allowing Bossing to take a 37-35 lead. Two free throws by Moala Tautuaa put San Miguela ahead by a point, 39-38, at the break.

San Miguel gained complete control of the game in the third period, where they outscored Blackwater, 30-15. Cabagnot was especially effective in the frame, making all four of his field goals for nine points to help the Beermen pull away. Perez added seven points, and San Miguel's defense limited the Bossing to just 6-of-24 from the field in the period.

"We're just trying to create some momentum for our next games. Kasi mabilis lang 'yung conference," said Cabagnot, who also had two rebounds and two assists in the game.

With the game well at hand, Austria was able to give significant time to his reserves and limit Fajardo's minutes. 

"Nakita naman natin kanina, na-sustain nila 'yung lamang and lumaki pa. I-congratulate ko sila dito," the coach said of his second unit.

Simon Enciso scored 25 points, while Kelly Nabong and Mike Tolomia each scored 12 points for the Bossing. However, their efforts weren't enough to keep Blackwater from sliding to 0-4 in the conference.