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Cabagnot makes triumphant return as San Miguel blasts Blackwater

June Mar Fajardo's 20-20 game catapulted the Beermen back to their winning ways. PBA Media Group
By Ivan Saldajeno

MANILA—Alex Cabagnot walked away a winner in his comeback game as the San Miguel Beermen dumped the Blackwater Elite, 93-79, in the PBA Philippine Cup at the Mall of Asia Arena in Pasay on Wednesday night.

San Miguel turned things around in the last three quarters as Cabagnot’s return from a hamstring injury turned out to be a huge boost for the defending champion.

Blackwater was actually engaging SMB in a tight showdown come the first quarter with the former holding a 21-19 lead at the end of the period.

The Beermen, however, slowly took over beginning in the second quarter, when they entered halftime ahead, 44-41.

They then went full blast in the second half, scoring 30 points in the third quarter before limiting the Elite to just 15 points in the final frame.

SMB even led by as much as 21, 87-66, midway through the fourth before settling for the 14-point lead in the end.

June Mar Fajardo put up a 20-20 game, finishing with 21 rebounds and 20 points alongside five assists, four blocks, and one steal for the Beermen, who moved back to .500 at 3-3, tying the TNT KaTropa in fourth place.

Cabagnot, on the other hand, finished with 19 points, one board, five dimes, one steal, and one block.

Terrence Romeo added 17 points, five rebounds, four assists, and one block, while Chris Ross chipped in 14 points on 5-of-6 shooting, seven rebounds, six assists, and two steals.

Roi Sumang put up 17 markers, five caroms, six assists, two steals, and one block for the Elite, but he went 7-of-19 from the field.

Overall, they only made 31 percent of their field goals with the Beermen getting a total of 16 blocks.

The scores:

San Miguel 93 - Fajardo 20, Cabagnot 19, Ross 14, Nabong 7, Lassiter 6, Santos 4, Tubid 2, Lanete 2, De Ocampo 2, Mamaril 0, Zamar 0, Vigil 0.

Blackwater 79 - Sumang 17, Digregorio 14, Maliksi 13, Javier 9, Tratter 9, Desiderio 4, Eriobu 4, Sena 0, Cortez 0, Palma 0, Dario 0.

Quarters: 19-29, 44-41, 74-64, 93-79.

Follow him on Twitter: @IvanSaldajeno