San Miguel Beer’s firepower was in full display anew as it gave Terrafirma a harsh reality check with a 122-102 drubbing in the 2023 PBA Governors’ Cup at the Ynares Center in Antipolo on Friday, Feb. 3.
The Beermen bared their depth with Cameron Clark, CJ Perez, Allyn Bulanadi and Marcio Lassiter all picking up the slack from the rare off night from June Mar Fajardo and the ejection of Jericho Cruz en route to a rousing 3-0 start in the season-ending conference.
Clark, the lowest scoring import so far in the conference, proved he also has plenty of arsenal on his offensive bag to finish with his season-high 31 points to go along with his 17 rebounds. Perez came out with an all-around effort of 20 points, 11 rebounds and six assists while Mo Tautuaa added 17 points
Bulanadi also emerged as a potent weapon off the bench with 14 points while Lassiter contributed 12 markers. Fajardo only had six points on a measly 1-of-6 shooting but his usual big scoring numbers were hardly needed for SMB.
The Beermen actually took some time before they found their groove and built a sizable margin – a trend that has been witnessed in their past two games.
“We are not invincible. They started strong and we started flat but the good thing about it after three to four minutes. We just woke up and brought out our San Miguel basketball,” head coach Jorge Gallent said about the team’s slow start that saw them trail in the opening frame for the first time this conference.
Terrafirma, riding the crest of its morale-boosting 96-88 win over Meralco, went off to a good start, taking an early 15-6 lead before settling for a two-point advantage at the end of the first 10 minutes of the game.
SMB came alive in the second quarter where it exploded for 38 points behind Clark, Bulanadi and Perez to finally build the double-digit lead which even went to as many as 22 points, 68-46, early in the second half.
Not wanting to go down without a fight, the Dyip found another fire in them and rallied back to come within seven, 84-77, late in the third period. Completely unbothered by Terrafirma run, SMB then switched it on once again and pulled away for good in the final frame.
Jordan Williams finished with 30 points but shot a measly 1-of-9 clip from beyond the arc while Juami Tiongson followed up his 30-point explosion last time out with 20 points – all of which went down the drain as Terrafirma dropped to a 1-2 record in the standings.