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San Miguel stays unbeaten, trumps TNT on Q4 blast

Junemar Fajardo stomped his dominance in Iloilo. PBA Media Bureau

By Ivan Saldajeno

MANILA--San Miguel relied on a fourth quarter explosion to score its third straight win in the PBA Philippine Cup, beating TNT, 88-76, at the University of San Agustin Gym in Iloilo City on Saturday night.

The Beermen started out flat, and the KaTropa quickly opened a 12-point lead, 24-12, late in the first quarter.

SMB picked up the pace in the second quarter and limited TNT to only 12 points and cut the lead to one, 36-35, by halftime.

The KaTropa tried to pull away again in the third quarter by opening another eight-point cushion, 59-51, but the Beermen rallied again to close the period and finally completed the comeback in the fourth, outscoring the KaTropa, 30-15.

"We're so happy with this win against Talk 'n Text because we consider Talk 'n Text as a team to beat in this conference," said Coach Leo Austria after the win.

Junemar Fajardo shot 8-of-11 from the field for 20 points with six rebounds, three blocks, and one steal for SMB, which remained the only unbeaten team so far in the conference.

Marcio Lassiter and Arwind Santos each added 15 points.

Troy Rosario led TNT, which fell to 1-2, with 15 markers, 13 boards, one dime, one rejection, and one swipe.

Box Scores:

San Miguel 88-Fajardo 20, Lassiter 15, Santos 15, Cabagnot 11, Ganuelas-Rosser 8, Pessumal 7, Ross 5, Heruela 5, De Ocampo 2, Semerad 0, Mamaril 0, Lanete 0

TNT 76-Rosario 15, Tautuaa 12, Pogoy 11, Castro 9, Garcia 9, Williams 9, Semerad 6, Reyes 5, Golla 0, Carey 0, Torres 0, Onwubere 0

Quarterscores: 14-24, 35-36, 58-61, 88-76

Follow him on Twitter: @IvanSaldajeno