|Mo Tautuaa impressed for San Miguel in its first game with June Mar Fajardo sittting out for a long period. PBA Media Group|
By Ivan Saldajeno
QUEZON CITY--No June Mar Fajardo? No problem.
San Miguel triumphed in its first game without its main man with a 94-78 win against Magnolia in an early rematch of last year's PBA Philippine Cup Finals to start the new season at the Smart Araneta Coliseum on Sunday night.
The Beermen, who got off to a hot 7-0 start only to be countered by the Hotshots' late first quarter rally to force an 18-all tie, turned the tides in the second quarter, outscoring the Hotshots, 27-15, to open a 45-33 halftime lead.
Magnolia tried to fight back in the third quarter, cutting the lead down to seven, 61-54, late in the quarter, but San Miguel held on and reestablished its double-digit lead that it never squandered.
Mo Tautuaa showed that he deserved the Most Improved Player award that he got from the Leo Awards earlier in the night, leading the Beermen with 20 points, 11 rebounds, two assists, two blocks, and one steal. Arwind Santos added 18 points, 15 rebounds, three assists, five assists, and one steal.
Paul Lee put up 19 markers, five boards, three dimes, and one swipe for the Hotshots, while Ian Sangalang added 16 markers, 11 boards, three dimes, and one steal.
Playing in his first regular season game as a Hotshot, Jack Corpuz made 16 points, 13 rebounds, and one assist off the bench.
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