SMB pips NorthPort to take solo 3rd anew

Junemar Fajardo posted MVP numbers again. PBA Media Group
By Ivan Saldajeno

MANILA—San Miguel held off a gutsy move from NorthPort in the end to score a 113-107 win in the PBA Philippine Cup at the Smart Araneta Coliseum in Quezon City on Sunday night.

Behind a 40-point performance from Junemar Fajardo, the Beermen turned back the Batang Pier despite the latter making things interesting late.

SMB came alive in the third quarter, dropping 34 points to take an 84-77 lead entering the final quarter.

The team even stretched its lead to as high as 11, 103-92, with five and a half minutes to play.

But NorthPort crawled back and was within two multiple times later in the fourth quarter, the last at 105-107 with 1:14 to go.

A basket from Fajardo and a free throw from Chris Ross gave the Beermen some separation after upping their lead to five, 110-105, with 39 seconds to play.

Stanley Pringle scored on a quick teardrop to trim the gap to three, but Ross responded with a dagger triple for the final tally.

Fajardo made all but one of his 15 field goals and 12 of 16 free throw shots for his 40 markers while adding 19 rebounds, three assists, and one steal as SMB moved back to solo third place at 6-3.

Terrence Romeo added 23 points, six rebounds, three assists, and one steal.

Mo Tautuaa went 12-of-14 from the field for 28 points with 13 rebounds, one assist, and two steals for NorthPort, which dropped to 2-4.

The scores:

San Miguel 113 - Fajardo 40, Romeo 23, Lassiter 15, Santos 11, Nabong 11, Ross 9, Rosser 4, Cabagnot 0, Pessumal 0.

NorthPort 107 - Tautuaa 28, Anthony 16, Bolick 12, Grey 12, Taha 11, Elorde 11, Pringle 10, Lanete 5, Guinto 2, Gabayni 0, Sollano 0.

Quarters: 21-25, 50-54, 84-77, 113-107.

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