San Miguel Beermen Secures Top 3 Spot in PBA Governor’s Cup Eliminations, Road Warriors Fall to No. 6
Even without June Mar Fajardo, San Miguel Beer came out strong after a 24-day break in PBA action, securing a twice-to-beat advantage for the upcoming Governors’ Cup quarterfinals.
After a disappointing showing in Japan’s EASL Champions Week, the Beermen took out their frustrations on the NLEX Road Warriors, beating them 120-106 to guarantee themselves a Top 3 seed in the tournament’s preliminary round.
At the PhilSports Arena in Pasig on Friday night, Cameron Clark and the rest of the Bolts take on the Rain or Shine Elasto Painters, hoping to knock them out of the top two spots.
In the 5:45 p.m. mainer of the elimination round, pacesetters TNT Tropang Giga and Barangay Ginebra square off.
Going into that decisive set of tosses, the Tropang Giga has a 9-1 win-loss record, while the Beermen and the Kings both have 8-2 records.
Coach Jorge Gallent and his team wasted no time competing against NLEX, destroying their opponents’ bid and knocking the Road Warriors down from fourth to sixth place.
In reality, NLEX tied with Meralco and Magnolia for fourth place.
The Bolts came in at #4 (+18), the Hotshots at #5 (+14), and the Road Warriors at #6 after the quotient tiebreak was applied (-32).
One of the four quarterfinal games features Meralco taking on Magnolia, with coach Norman Black and his chargers motivated by chance to beat a team twice.
Clark and CJ Perez led the Beermen with 45 and 23 points, respectively, as they continued to fight for the top seed.
Without Fajardo, who has an MCL injury, Clark stepped up big time, recording a huge double-double of 45 points and 17 rebounds.
The Beermen led by as many as 21 points thanks to strong performances from Jericho Cruz (16 points) and Allyn Bulanadi (14 points), who both had double-digit scoring efforts.
Nonetheless, Clark and Perez put the brakes on the NLEX revival and put SMB on the path to victory after a disappointing loss to TNT in their previous match.
Wayne Selden Jr. (32 points) and Brandon Ganuelas-Rosser (29 points) carried the load offensively for NLEX.
The PBA Standings has been hotly contested this season, with San Miguel Beer emerging as a formidable force despite missing their star player. With Cameron Clark and CJ Perez leading the charge, the Beermen have secured a sure Top 3 finish in the PBA Governor’s Cup elimination round, giving them a shot at either the No. 1 or No. 2 spot. It remains to be seen how they will fare in the upcoming playoffs, but San Miguel Beer is a team to watch out for with a strong emphasis on defense and a well-rounded team effort.