June Mar Fajardo and Jericho Cruz dished out a pair of 30-point games and led San Miguel Beer’s hot charge in the final half en route to a breakaway 115-99 win over TNT Tropang Giga in the PBA Philippine Cup at the Smart Araneta Coliseum Thursday night.
Fajardo dominated at the paint, hauling down 16 rebounds in addition to his 30 markers while Cruz rifled in 3-of-5 three-pointers and 12-of-20 field shooting overall as they fueled the SMB pull-away on the way back to solo top spot with a 7-1 win-loss card.
Simon Enciso contributed 16 markers while CJ Perez (12 points and 10 assists) and Rodney Brondial (12 markers and 18 boards) put in double-double numbers for the Beermen who stopped the Tropang Giga on their tracks and handed them their first loss in their last six outings.
At 7-3 overall, TNT is now virtually out of the race for the Top Two and a twice-to-beat bonus in the quarterfinals.
This is an important game and we felt this would decide our fate (in making the Top Two),” said San Miguel coach Leo Austria.
“We want to avoid any complications (of a tie). We’re a victim of the quotient tiebreak last conference,” Austria also said, recalling their drop to fifth place in a three-way tie for third with TNT and Meralco in the last Governors Cup.
At fifth spot, San Miguel was then eliminated by No. 4 and twice-to-beat team Meralco in the quarters.