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SMB begins title defense with rout of Phoenix

By Ivan Saldajeno

QUEZON CITY--San Miguel began their quest for a second straight PBA Governors' Cup title on a high note after trouncing Phoenix, 124-113, on Sunday night at the Smart Araneta Coliseum.

Led by AZ Reid, three Beermen finished with 20 points or more as they handed the Fuel Masters their second straight defeat under Coach Ariel Vanguardia.

In a high scoring yet close encounter, San Miguel went on a 12-4 run midway in the fourth quarter for their largest lead at 13 and never let Phoenix, who actually the lead at the half, make a late charge.

Reid fired 41 points on 31 shots, while adding ten rebounds, four assists, two blocks, and one steal, while Junemar Fajardo, who like his other Gilas teammates was given playing time a week cut off from the FIBA OQT, added 21 points, 11 rebounds, one assist, and two blocks off the bench and Alex Cabagnot contributed 20 points, four rebounds, three assists, and one steal for San Miguel.

MJ Simmons led the way for Phoenix with 28 points, 11 rebounds, and two assists.

Norbert Torres had his best game as a Fuel Master with 19 points, six rebounds, one assist, and one block, and so is his fellow ex-Star Hotshot Mark Cruz, who tallied 13 points, four rebounds, seven assists, and one steal.

Cyrus Baguio came close to a triple-double in his first outing with Phoenix, making 13 points, nine assists, and seven rebounds with one steal and one block.

Box Scores:

San Miguel 124-Reid 41, Fajardo 21, Cabagnot 20, Lassiter 12, Heruela 8, David 7, Tubid 5, Reyes 4, Ross 4, Arana 2, Semerad 0

Phoenix 113-Simmons 28, Torres 19, Baguio 13, Cruz 13, Enciso 12, Lee 9, Caperal 7, J. Wilson 7, Pennisi 3, Buenafe 2, Sorongon 0, W. Wilson 0

Quarterscores: 33-29, 64-69, 97-93, 124-113

Follow him on Twitter: @IvanSaldajeno