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SMB blasts Blackwater

San Miguel Beer made short work of Blackwater and continued to look good under new coach Jorge Gallent.

The Beermen breezed past the Bossing, 105-86, and added them to their growing list of victims while serving notice of their title aspirations in the Philippine Basketball Association Governors’ Cup Wednesday at the Philsports Arena.

San Miguel held Blackwater to just 11 points in the second period while unloading 30 points to break the game wide open early on.

Meanwhile, NLEX formally reached an agreement with National Basketball Association veteran Wayne Selden Jr., who will be coming in as replacement for Jonathon Simmons.

Road Warriors coach Frankie Lim made the confirmation, saying that Selden will be arriving on Thursday to replace Simmons, who will be leaving after 6 February to honor his contract with his previous club in the Chinese Basketball Association.

Simmons and the Road Warriors are still clashing with TNT Tropang Giga at press time.

What’s good about this conference is our import came in early.

Lim said Selden was truly impressive, prompting them to tap him over former PBA import Manny Harris.

“The clips that were sent were recent clips when he was playing in Turkey,” Lim said, formally confirming an earlier Daily Tribune report that Selden will be their new reinforcement.

In notching its second win in as many games, San Miguel, the reigning Philippine Cup champion, has vaulted into second spot behind idle Converge, which remains unbeaten in three games.

But more than the victory, Gallent sees the latest win as a manifestation of how the players are beginning to learn to play better as a team.

“Our motto was to bring our defensive side to fuel our offense,” Gallent said.

“It’s triggering our offense and if it stays like that, we’re fine. The players’ energy is really high, but there are instances that it goes down, but at least we’re confident that we can bring up the lead again.”

Five players ended up in double figures with Jericho Cruz leading the way with 22 points, including 10 in the second period when the Beermen pulled away.

San Miguel posted its biggest lead at 30, 63-33, in the closing stage of the second period and was never seriously threatened from there.

Import Cameron Clark added 20 points and nine boards.

Not the usual ball-dominant reinforcement, Clark took a backseat on offense to allow the Beermen’s talented local unit to flourish and mainstays like June Mar Fajardo, CJ Perez, Marcio Lassiter and Simon Enciso didn’t let him down.

Fajardo had a double-double showing of 17 points and 16 rebounds, Perez had 14 points to go along with six rebounds and five assists, Lassiter contributed 13 and Enciso chipped in nine.

“What’s good about this conference is our import came in early,” said Gallent, referring to the import change they made prior the start of the conference which saw them bringing in Clark, former import of NLEX, to replace Marcus Weathers, who eventually played for NorthPort.

The Beermen had a slow start last conference, but started to get their game going in the latter stretch, which was enough to make their way to the semifinal round.

This time, the Beermen were off to a good start.

“We didn’t have problems now. We’re very happy now that Cam arrived early and he’s been doing a great, great job.”

The Scores:
SAN MIGUEL (105) — Cruz 22, Clark 20, Fajardo 17, Perez 14, Lassiter 13, Enciso 9, Tautuaa 7, Ross 3, Bulanadi 0, Brondial 0.

BLACKWATER (86) — Glover 16, Torralba 11, Ilagan 10, Taha 8, Banal 8, Hill 8, Ular 6, Casio 6, Ayonayon 5, Amer 4, Suerte 2, Escoto 2, DiGregorio 0.
QUARTERS: 33-24, 63-35, 83-68, 105-86.

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