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Behind Fajardo's 41, SMB evades Kia's upset ax

By Dugout Philippines

PASAY—San Miguel escaped Kia's upset ax with a scrambling 118-112 victory to claim a quarterfinals berth in the PBA Governors Cup Saturday at the Mall of Asia Arena.

The Beermen went to big man June Mar Fajardo when everything wasn't going well for the team and the three-time league MVP responded with a monster game of 41 points and 17 rebounds as he saved San Miguel from the jaws of defeat.

The Picanto led by as much as 67-56 in the third quarter of the Petron Blaze Saturday Special before the Beermen, led by Fajardo, got their acts back just in time to claim their sixth win in nine outings--well within reach of claiming one of top two spots in the quarterfinals.

"They have nothing to lose but everything to gain," said Austria about another inspiring plays by the Picanto.

"I think this is a wake-up call for us. We can't take any team for granted because every teams wants to beat us."

Fajardo, who played for the entire second half and poured in 20 points in the fourth quarter alone, got ample support from San Miguel's starting unit.

Marcio Lassiter finished with 16 points, Chris Ross and Arwind Santos had 15 each, while Alex Cabagnot added 11, including back-to-back lay-ups that finally clinched the victory for the grand slam-seeking franchise.

Import Terrence Watson scored 16 points and 14 rebounds, but had to be kept on the bench by Austria for the entire fourth quarter as he opted to play with an all-Filipino unit.

Kia remained winless in 10 games but was on the verge of pulling a win for the second straight game, until San Miguel suddenly came alive in the fourth quarter.

Import Geron Johnson had a game-high 42 points, 10 rebounds, and eight assists in another losing effort for Kia. But he also committed 10 turnovers.

Mark Yee added 15 points, while the duo of Jackson Corpuz and Philip Paniamogan had 15 and 14, respectively.

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