January 29, 2023

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San Miguel Beer books semifinals ticket in PBA Commissioner’s Cup

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SMB's Devon Scott and June Mar Fajardo both erupted with a double-double performance to lift the Beermen's victory.

Beermen sweep best-of-three quarterfinals vs Converge

San Miguel Beer booked a ticket to the PBA Commissioner’s Cup semifinals after beating Converge FiberXers, 120-107, in Game 2 to sweep their best-of-three quarterfinals (2-0) in the PBA Commissioner’s Cup at the PhilSports Arena in Pasig City Saturday, December 10.

San Miguel Beermen import Devon Scott shoots as he finished with a double-double performance to lift his team’s sweeping victory over Converge in their PBA Commissioner’s Cup quarterfinals series.PBA PHOTO

The Beermen thus arranged a semis duel series with top team Bay Area Dragons starting at 3 p.m. on Wednesday, December 14, before the 5:45 p.m. semis game between Ginebra Gin Kings and Magnolia Hotshots.

SMB’s Devon Scott and June Mar Fajardo both erupted with a double-double performance to lift the Beermen’s victory.

Scott hit 20 points and 14 rebounds while Fajardo had 18 markers and 18 boards plus seven assists. Terrence Romeo also put on quite a show as he sizzled with five three-pointers of his total 22.

The Beermen came out hard from the deep, thanks to Simon Enciso (4-of-6), Marcio Lassiter (3-of-5), and Jericho Cruz (2-of-6). They along with CJ Perez provided support for the Fajardo-Scott combo. Perez added 12 points on top of eight rebounds and four assists.

They dominated throughout the game, leading by as much as 27 points before letting their guards down in the dying minutes.

Acting SMB coach Jorge Gallent said, “They (the Beermen) relaxed in the last six minutes. After leading by 27 points, they stopped playing. They decided to play not to lose, allowing Converge to trim the gap.”

The FiberXers came within eight at the peak of their rally only to collapse anew as Enciso fired a triple to foil their threat as the Beermen sealed the series. The Beermen also routed Converge, 114-96, in their Game 1 encounter.

Romeo’s return helped the Beermen secure the semis spot as he was among those who steered the team’s searing breakaway.

San Miguel Beermen’s point guard returns from injury to give his squad the needed boost to secure a semifinals appearance.PBA PHOTO

He said, “Marami pang kulang kasi wala akong tuneup at derecho na agad sa actual game. Mine-make sure ko lang na makatulong kung ano ang pwede kong itulong (There’s a lot missing because I didn’t have a tuneup and played right away in the actual game. I just make sure to help what I can),” said Romeo who was sidelined for nine months due to a back injury.

“I’m just doing the best with the minutes I am given for now,” the SMB spitfire said, adding, “I know I still have plenty of adjustments to apply.”

The 2019 Finals MVP said, “Gagawin ko yung kaya kong gawin, gagawin ko ang best ko para makatulong (I will do what I can do, I will do my best to help).”

Gallent, for his part, said, “I’m just happy that the players found ways to bring (the game) up again.”

The Beermen will next collide with the guest team Dragons in the best-of-five semifinals series for a shot at the finals.

“We just have to match their intensity and we’ll be OK,” he added.

June Mar Fajardo shows his fiery form as he helped the San Miguel Beermen grab a PBA Commissioner’s Cup semifinals ticket. PBA PHOTO

The boxscores:

San Miguel 120 – Romeo 22, Scott 20, Fajardo 18, Enciso 16, Cruz 15, Perez 12, Lassiter 9, Brondial 8, Ross 0, Canete 0.

Converge 107 – Teng 25, Miller 24, Ahanmisi 12, Ilagan 10, Racal 8, Tratter 7, Melecio 7, Stockton 5, Arana 4, Bulanadi 3, Hill 2, Murrell 0.

Quarters: 27-15, 61-44, 97-74, 120-107.

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