SMB clamps NLEX to knock on Top 2 door

Junemar Fajardo highlighted another dominating performance with a three-pointer. PBA Media Group
By Ivan Saldajeno

MANILA—San Miguel continued to break away from the middle of the pack with a 121-111 victory over NLEX in the PBA Philippine Cup at the Smart Araneta Coliseum in Quezon City on Friday night.

Starting with three straight triples from Arwind Santos, the Beermen zapped the Road Warriors in the first half, opening a 63-36 lead at halftime.

NLEX finally found its offensive rhythm in the second half, dropping 73 points in the final 24 minutes, but it was a bit too late as SMB's advantage, which was at a game-high 31 early in the third quarter, was just too huge to overcome.

Junemar Fajardo made 27 points on 10-of-13 shooting including a rare triple with 13 rebounds and two assists for the Beermen, who moved up to third place at 5-3, just one game behind the Rain Or Shine Elasto Painters for second.

Fajardo led seven Beermen in double figures, which accounted for all but five of their total points.

JR QuiƱahan made 17 points, 10 rebounds, and one assist, while Juami Tiongson added 16 markers, 13 assists, three rebounds, and three steals for the Road Warriors, who fell to 2-5.

The scores:

San Miguel 121 - Fajardo 27, Cabagnot 18, Santos 17, Lassiter 16, Romeo 14, Pessumal 12, Ross 12, Zamar 4, Nabong 1, Mamaril 0, Vigil 0, Rosser 0.

NLEX 111 - Quinahan 17, Tiongson 16, Erram 16, Ighalo 14, Galanza 11, Tallo 10, Rios 8, Soyud 5, Paniamogan 5, Baguio 2, Lao 2, Magat 2, Taulava 2, Varilla 0, Porter 0.

Quarters: 31-14, 63-38, 94-77, 121-111.

Follow him on Twitter: @IvanSaldajeno