With a stellar 57-point performance against the team that originally recruited him for the PBA Governors’ Cup, Shabazz Muhammad powered San Miguel Beer past Meralco, 115-110, and into third place in the standings.
Muhammad exploded with 45 in the second half as he sparked SMB’s fightback from a 26-point deficit to steal their way to their seventh win in front of a good-sized crowd Saturday night at the Smart Araneta Coliseum.
The five-year NBA veteran scored 21 in the final period alone, outscoring the entire Meralco team by three in the closeout to seal the Beermen’s back-to-back victories ending their 11-game elims.
“I told my teammates once my shot gets in, they’re (Meralco) gonna be in trouble because they can’t sag off. I’m really tired now but man, that was a great win,” said Muhammad who also hauled down 19 rebounds plus an assist, a steal and a block but with seven errors in 45 minutes of action.
Muhammad’s scorcher was the most in a PBA game since San Miguel’s Tyler Wilkerson had 58 and NLEX’s Al Thornton had 69 against each other in a 131-127 overtime win by the Beermen on April 5, 2016 in the Commissioner’s Cup.
Tony Bishop, the Panamanian tapped by Meralco as import after the initial deal with Muhammad fizzled out, finished with 29 and 14.
June Mar Fajardo (16-14) and Vic Manuel (13) also delivered double-digit production for SMB, which turned the tables around with a 69-40 exchange coming off the halftime break.