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PBA: Fajardo powers SMB

SAN Miguel Beer’s June Mar Fajardo, right, looks to attack the defense of Globalport’s Eric Menk, left, and Dior Lowhorn in last night’s PBA PLDT Home Telpad Governors’ Cup at the Mall of Asia Arena. The Beermen won 102-99. (Photo by Tony Pionilla)

26 points, 27 rebounds for the Big Fella

Manila, Philippines – Sophomore center June Mar Fajardo finished with 26 points and hauled down a career-best 27 rebounds as San Miguel Beer scored a come-from-behind 102-99 victory over Globalport in the PBA PLDT Home Telpad Governors’ Cup last night at the Mall of Asia Arena.

With the Beermen up by just three points, the 6-foot-10 Fajardo buried two pressure-packed free throws that gave SMB a 102-97 advantage with 12.9 seconds left.

Before that, the Philippine Cup Best Player of the Conference muffed two free throws, but he blocked a shot by Globalport import Dior Lowhorn inside the shaded lane and found redemption the next time walked to the line.

Globalport’s reserve guard Rudy Linganay made a quick layup that trimmed the deficit to 102-99, and after two missed foul shots by Arwind Santos, Batang Pier had a chance to tie the game with eight seconds to play.

However, after Jay Washington collared the rebound, Globalport rookie guard Terrence Romeo found no clear view of the basket as he was triple-teamed by Santos, Chris Lutz and Fajardo as time expired.

The setback was Globalport’s third straight as it fell to 1-4, while San Miguel Beer improved to 4-2, bouncing back from a 103-97 setback to Talk ’N Text last Saturday at the Smart Araneta Coliseum.

“I didn’t expect catch-up but I expected a very close game,” said San Miguel Beer consultant Todd Purves as the team fell behind by as many as 17 points several times in the first period.

“We were blessed with having other guys stepping up. We had to make some strategic adjustments. It’s a matter of effort. Credit to (Globalport) coach Pido Jarencio, they came out ready to play and we didn’t. Fortunately we came out ready to finish,” he added.

SMB import Reggie Williams finished with 23 points, nine assists and nine rebounds, while the reigning Most Valuable Player (MVP) Santos added 18 points and 11 rebounds. Sol Mercado had 10 points.

Lowhorn led the Batang Pier with 38 points and 10 rebounds, Washington added 19 and 10 boards, and Cabagnot contributed 16 markers.

SAN MIGUEL BEER 102 – Fajardo 26, Williams 23, Santos 18, Mercado 10, Kramer 7, Tubid 6, Lanete 6, Lutz 6, Maierhofer 0, Duncil 0, Chua 0.

GLOBALPORT 99 – Lowhorn 38, Washington 14, Cabagnot 13, Romeo 11, Menk 6, Lingganay 5, Yee 4, Matias 2, Ponferada 2, Hayes 2, Salvador 2, Garcia 0.

Quarters: 24-27, 44-59, 81-82, 102-99.