The San Miguel Beermen drew first blood in their 2018 PBA Commissioner’s Cup semifinals series against the Alaska Aces with a — win on Saturday at the Mall of Asia Arena.
Six players finished in double figures for San Miguel led by June Mar Fajardo who scored 17 points.
Alaska was only trailing by one at the end of the first quarter, before the Beermen caught fire in the next frame. Holding a 34-32 edge at the 8:14 mark of the second period, San Miguel went on a 16-6 run to widen the gap to a dozen, 50-38.
Fajardo and Marcio Lassiter spearheaded the Beermen’s third quarter charge with a 9-1 blast, extending the lead to 19 points, 61-42. The Aces were able to trim the deficit to 10 early in the final frame, but San Miguel’s balanced attack was enough to secure the victory.
Alaska was paced by Diamon Simpson who had a game-high 31 points and 24 rebounds.
San Miguel 92 – Fajardo 17, Cabagnot 15, Balkman 13, Lassiter 12, Santos 12, Nabong 11, Standhardinger 9, Ross 3, Heruela 0.
Alaska 79 – Simpson 31, Manuel 16, Racal 7, Enciso 7, Casio 6, Teng 4, Exciminiano 4, Cruz 2, Thoss 2, Baclao 0, R. Pascual 0, Galliguez 0.
Quarters: 25-24, 52-41, 75-65, 92-79.
San Miguel was able to hold Alaska to just 39 percent from the field and a dismal 11 percent from the three-point area.
Vic Manuel’s streak of 20-point games came to an end. He only finished with 16 markers on 7-of-20 shooting.
Game 2 on July 16 at the Smart-Araneta Coliseum