Perez CJ Perez of San Miguel Beer challenges the defense of Cliff Hodge of Meralco in the PBA Commissioner’s Cup game at the Smart Araneta Colisem. The Beermen defeated the Bolts. PBA photo

San Miguel strikes back

November 20, 2023 Robert Andaya 147 views

SAN Miguel Beer redeemed itself from heartbreaking overtime setback with a convincing 93-83 victory over erstwhile unbeaten Meralco in the PBA Commissioner’s Cup at the Smart Araneta Coliseum.

The Beermen, who squandered a 19-point lead in an overtime loss to NLEX last Wednesday, never wavered after establishing a 21-point lead in the second quarter enroute to their first win in two matches.

Import Ivan Aska came through with a double-double with 27 points on 12-of-23 shooting and 13 rebounds in 45 minuteS.

Seven-time PBA MVP June Mar Fajardo added 17 points, 15 rebounds, and three assists while CJ Perez contributed 16 points and six rebounds for the Beermen.

Chris Ross had 10 points points, including five in the closing minutes as the Beermen held off the Bolts.

Ross hit a dagger 3-point shot and canned two free throws to give San Miguel a 90-81 lead with 1:14 remaining.

“I just learned my lesson from the first game. It was my first time, so the players and the coaching staff got me ready for (this) game,” said Aska, who fouled out with still 6:28 left in regulation against NLEX..

“I told myself I have to stay in the game and just do what I do, play defense and offense.”

Meralco suffered its first setback after winning its first two assignments.

Chris Newsome carried the fight for Meralco with 22 points on 8-of-18 shooting, along with six assists, three rebounds, and two steals.

Import Suleiman Braimoh had 15 points, 12 rebounds, and four assists for coach Luigi Trillo.

Braimoh;s 15-point outpiut, however, was 22 points belowhis average, after shooting just 6-of-18 from the field.

Raymond Almazan chipped in 11 points and six rebounds, while Cliff Hodge added 10 points and seven rebounds in the team’s losing effort.

The win could be a costly one, however, for San Miguel.

Terrence Romeo had to sit out the entire second half after aggravating a right knee injury.

The game also saw rookie Kyt Jimenez, the 76th overall pick in the recent draft, make his PBA debut.

Like Romeo, Jimenez also had to leave the game early in the fourth quarter after inadvertently getting hit on the right eye by Hodge’s elbow.

The scores:

San Miguel (93) –Aska 27, Fajardo 17, Perez 16, Ross 10, Romeo 9, Tautuaa 7, Enciso 5, Jimenez 2, Bulanadi 0
Meralco (83) –Newsome 22, Braimoh 15, Almazan 11, Hodge 10, Bates 6, Quinto 5, Dario 5, Caram 4, Rios 3, Jackson 2, Pasaol 0.
Quarterscores: 29-20, 55-43, 66-62, 93-83

Games Wednesday:

(Smart Araneta Coliseum)
4 p.m. — Terrafirma vs. TNT
8 p.m. — NorthPort vs. NLEX