Beermen Winless No More

MANILA, Philippines - Recently crowned All-Filipino Cup Champions San Miguel Beermen started the Commissioner’s Cup slow with a very rare 0-4 record. But the Leo Austria-mentored team clamored that this losing streak has to end in Xavier University Gymnasium, Cagayan De Oro City.

Beermen Winless No More
SMB’s new import Arizona Reid helps the Beermen to a 102-83 win over Meralco Bolts | Photo Credit: GMA News

True to their word, the Beermen showed what they are capable of by owning the shaded lane, both offensively and defensively in the 1st 24 minutes of the ball game against the League Leader Meralco Bolts. Reigning MVP, Junmar Fajardo tallied 16 solid points while SMB’s new import, come-backing Arizona Reid contributed 15 convincing points to enjoy a 45-40 lead after the 1st half.

The 6’4 small forward and 2-time best import, who previously reinforced Rain or Shine Elasto Painters, AZ Reid, replaced the athletic Ronald Roberts Jr., helped the Beermen with their 1st ever win of the conference recording 29 big points in his Commissioner’s Cup debut. His counterpart, on the other hand, Meralco Bolts Import, high-flying Josh Davis who only made couple of baskets suffered a bruised hip and forced to leave the court with with 7:06 remaining in the 2nd Quarter.

Fresh from his heroic buzzer beater against Global Port Batang Pier, Josh Davis left the floor on a stretcher after sustaining a hard fall off Junmar Fajardo’s pump-fake shot. He laid flat on his back for more than 5 minutes while being attended by the paramedics. Meralco Bolts Head Coach Norman Black got a sigh of relief after his talented import stood-up and walked on his own at the dugout but decided to play All-Filipino for the rest of the ball game to give Davis a well-deserved rest.

The San Miguel Beermen took advantage of the situation giving Fajardo and Reid an ample space under the rim to pummel all Meralco Bolts front court defenders Reynel Hugnatan and ex-Beerman Danny Ildefonso. Gilas Pilipinas Center, Junmar Fajardo showed height and might by posting 21 points and 22 boards and grabbing the Best Player of the Game Award.

Veteran Shooting Guard, Gary David, took the scoring duties from injured Josh Davis exploded with 20 points but got side-lined for 3 minutes due to a flagrant foul 1 he committed during a scuffle on the floor with SMB flashy point guard Chris Ross with 7:12 remaining in the final quarter. That incident almost escalated into a fist fight but Coach Norman Black and his assistants rushed to court to pacify both players.

The Bolts kept chasing the Beermen in the final quarter but Chris Ross, Chris Lutz and Arwind Santos did not give them any chance to get closer and sealed their first ever win in the conference after 4 frustrating losses.

Coach Leo Austria admitted that AZ Reid was set to reinforce his team next conference but due to their losing streak, he was forced to give his former import, Ronald Roberts Jr. a pink slip in order to make space for the smallest import of the Commissioner’s Cup. AZ Reid’s stint with the Rain or Shine Elasto Painters and familiarity in the league gave him an edge over the much taller, much younger and more athletic NBA DLeague power forward, Roberts Jr.


San Miguel 102 – Reid 29, Fajardo 21, Ross 16, Santos 14, Lutz 7, Kramer 6, Cabagnot 5, Lassiter 2, Tubid 0, Reyes 0, Omolon 0, Fortuna 0

Meralco 83 – David 20, Hodge 9, Wilson 9, Hugnatan 9, Anthony 8, Dillinger 6, Sena 5, Cortez 5, Ferriols 4, Davis 4, Macapagal 2, Reyes 2, Ildefonso 0, Buenafe 0, Atkins 0

With this win, the San Miguel Beermen’s hope of back-to-back championships is pretty much alive. Their next assignment will be against Al Thornton-backed-up NLEX Road Warriors on Tuesday, February 24 at Cuneta Astrodome in Pasay City - D'Waterboy, TheSummitExpress

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