Friday, April 12, 2024
HomeSportSan Miguel picks up where it left off, whips Phoenix

San Miguel picks up where it left off, whips Phoenix

CJ Perez San Miguel Beermen PBA

San Miguel Beer guard CJ Perez goes for a layup against Phoenix in the 2024 PBA Philippine Cup.–PBA IMAGES

MANILA, Philippines–San Miguel hardly looked like it lost a step during the long break, picking apart Phoenix, 116-102, in the PBA Philippine Cup on Easter Sunday.

CJ Perez brought his hot shooting from the midseason extravaganza, top-scoring the Beermen with a season-best 32 points to help will the club to a 3-0 win-loss mark in the centerpiece showcase where it is the defending champion.

Jericho Cruz was a spark off the bench yet again, finishing with 17 points to join Terrence Romeo and Don Trollano who also had double-digit scores in the triumph at Smart Araneta Coliseum in Cubao.

Reigning Most Valuable Player June Mar Fajardo added 13 points and 12 rebounds in the effort.

“I told the guys that we just had to keep our energy up for 48 minutes and not let the other team get into a rhythm,” said head coach Jorge Gallent, whose squad hardly struggled even after having six players taking part in the All-Star festivities held in Bacolod City last week.

“The 4-point shots (during the All-Star Game) gave him confidence,” he added of Perez, a former league scoring champion.

Jayjay Alejandro and rookie Matthew Daves delivered 13 points each, while three others added twin-digit scores for the FuelMasters who were right there in the contest until its offense conked out in the second half.

Phoenix thus dropped to 1-4 in the race, its lone victory coming at the expense of Terrafirma earlier this month.

San Miguel battles corporate sibling and crowd darling Barangay Ginebra this coming Friday.

Phoenix, meanwhile, goes on a 12-day break before taking on hapless Converge on April 12.

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