Cruz, Clark star as San Miguel drubs Blackwater

Jericho Cruz and Cameron Clark starred for San Miguel Beer as it flexed its full might anew and dealt Blackwater a 105-86 beating in the 2023 PBA Governors’ Cup at the PhilSports Arena on Wednesday, Feb. 1.

Jericho Cruz collars an offensive rebound for San Miguel. (PBA Images)

The two took turns in the first half onslaught that allowed the Beermen to establish a sizable margin which proved to be enough to even cushion a second half run from the Bossing.

It was Clark who did the work first for SMB, dropping 10 of his 20 points in the first quarter before Cruz followed suit and took the mantle from Clark, also scattering 10 of his 22 points in the second period where the Beermen tore the game wide open.

San Miguel dominated Blackwater in that span, exploding for 30 points with Cruz, June Mar Fajardo and CJ Perez conspiring for a blistering 16-0 blast that turned an already comfortable 14-point lead, 47-33, into a massive 30-point advantage, 63-33 late in the first half.

The Beermen also clamped down on the defensive end during that telling run, limiting Blackwater to just 11 points during that stretch.

“The players are playing well and they are defending well. That’s why I think our offense is going up also because of our defense. In our motto we’re just bringing in our defense to go to our offense. It's the defense triggering our offense,” said head coach Jorge Gallent.

“It’s all the players, the energy is really high and I’m very happy and there are just certain times that it just goes down. It really happens but at least we are confident enough that we can bring up the lead again,” he added.

Fajardo posted a double-double of 17 points and 16 rebounds while Perez added 14 points, six rebounds and six assists. Marcio Lassiter also contributed 13 points spiked by three triples for SMB which now rose to a 2-0 record in the standings.

Shawn Glover was the lone bright spot for the Blackwater after finishing with 16 points – 10 of which came in the third quarter when the Bossing showed some semblance of life and outscored the Beermen, 33-20, to cut the lead down to just 17, 97-80, heading into the final frame.

The run, however, proved to be short-lived as Blackwater couldn’t sustain the scoring with Joshua Torralba and RK Ilagan the only locals in double-digits with 11 and 10 points, respectively, as the Bossing slid down to a 1-3 slate.