Import-less San Miguel downs Blackwater, Magnolia gets past Phoenix

The San Miguel Beermen got past the Blackwater Elite without their import Dez Wells who was out with an injury. The Beermen rise up to 6-3 with the hard-earned 99-96 OT win. The new-look Elite drop to 2-8 for the conference.

June Mar Fajardo carried the load for the Beermen. He scored 30 points and hauled down 13 rebounds to lead San Miguel. Terrence Romeo backed him up with 20 points from off the bench. Mac Belo led Blackwater with 25 points from off the bench as well.

Photo from PBA Images

The Beermen looked like they were in control of the game heading into the last two minutes. A three-pointer by Romeo put them up by nine. But the Elite chopped that advantage down in the final two minutes. NiƱo Canaleta sandwiched a triple by Belo with outside shots of his own as the Elite battled back with a quick 9-0 run that tied the game up. Neither team could find a bucket in the final minute, as the game needed an extra period to settle the score.

In OT, the Beermen found the buckets they were missing in regulation. After Marqus Blakely put the Elite up with a triple, Marcio Lassiter scored on back-to-back drives and Fajardo added a bucket to put the Beermen up by four. Romeo added a bucket of his own to increase the lead to six and that was enough to hold off the Elite until the final buzzer.

In the first game, the Magnolia Hotshots got big games from their big guns to down the Phoenix Fuel Masters 97-81. The Hotshots rise up beyond .500 with a 5-4 record while Phoenix falls to 2-7.

Romeo Travis put up all-around numbers with 20 points, 16 rebounds and eight assists. Ian Sangalang added 17 points while Paul Lee scored 15. Chris Banchero put up 10 points from off the bench in his first game for his new team. Alonzo Gee led Phoenix with 24 points.

Photo from PBA Images

The Hotshots took control of the game in the bookend quarters making sure that they started and finished strong. Jio Jalalon, Rome Dela Rosa and Rafi Reavis set the tone for the Hotshots with a 6-0 run to start the game. More than the offense, it was the defense of Magnolia that helped them take a nine-point lead after the first period. They limited the Fuel Masters to just 12 points in the first period, taking them completely out of their rhythm.

In the final quarter, Jalalon and Dela Rosa once again combined for a 6-0 run to open the period. That run rebuilt a double-digit lead, helping Magnolia pull away from a seven-point lead to 13 points. That was enough to keep the Hotshots ahead all the way to the end.