Fajardo back in the groove as SMB rips Blackwater

Published July 28, 2021, 2:35 PM

by Jeremiah Sevilla

Photo from PBA

June Mar Fajardo finally found his dominant form as San Miguel smothered Blackwater, 99-80, to seize its third straight victory in the 2021 PBA Philippine Cup on Wednesday, July 28 at the Ynares Sports Arena in Pasig City  

Six-time MVP Fajardo came through with his best game so far off a knee injury, drilling in a double-double of 16 points and 11 rebounds to go with three assists and two blocks to lead the Beermen’s balanced assault en route to a 3-1 record. 

The 31-year-old Cebuano big man, who missed the bubble conference last year due to a complete fracture on his right shin, logged 9.0 points and 7.3 boards in the past three outings. 

“I’m happy for him ’cause he really wanted to get back to his old form. And kanina nakikita natin ‘yung dominance niya inside,” said San Miguel head coach Leo Austria of his 6-foot-10 star player. 

“What he has shown this afternoon was enough for him to gain some confidence. Eventually, he will realize that he’s getting back to his form,” he added. 

Six other Beermen turned in twin-digit scoring, with fellow veterans Marcio Lassiter firing 13 points built on three triples, Alex Cabagnot scoring 12 points and Arwind Santos putting up a 10-marker, 12-board double-double. 

CJ Perez tallied 14 points while Paul Zamar and Von Pessumal chipped 11 and 10, respectively.

San Miguel grabbed an early 35-23 lead but Blackwater closed within 38-39 at the half following a 14-0 run led by Simon Enciso. 

Behind Fajardo and the core of their unprecedented all-Filipino five-peat, the Beermen broke away anew in the third quarter, 69-51. 

San Miguel never looked back from there and even went ahead by as high as 25 points, 82-57, on CJ Perez’s layup with barely seven minutes remaining. 

Enciso’s game-high 25 points along with Kelly Nabong and Mike Tolomia’s 12 markers apiece went down the drain as the Bossing stayed winless in four outings. 

The scores: 

SAN MIGUEL  99 – Fajardo 16, Perez 14, Lassiter 13, Cabagnot 12, Zamar 11, Santos 10, Pessumal 10, Ross 5, Tautuaa 2, Gotladera 2, Comboy 2, , Gamalinda 2, Sena 0

BLACKWATER 80– Enciso 25, Nabong 12, Tolomia 12, Daquioag 9, Desiderio 5, Escoto 5,  Amer 4, Canaleta 4, Acuno 2, Magat 2, Semerad 0, Paras 0

Quarters : 20-11, 39-38, 69-53, 99-80